Five months after canceling its flights to Abaco and Grand Bahama due to Hurricane Dorian, American Airlines will be resuming daily flights to both islands starting tomorrow.
The airline was one of the major carriers for flights into the islands prior to the monster storm.
With daily flights into Abaco, American Airlines will become the airline offering the most international flights per week into that island. Bahamasair currently has four international flights per week and Silver Airways has five.
“On Thursday, Feb. 13 we are restarting service to Marsh Harbour (MHH) and Freeport (FPO),” an American Airlines representative said yesterday.
“Both will operate daily with the ERJ-175 with 76 seats.”
Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar called it a “step in the right direction”.
“This is a great relief, first and foremost for the citizens of Grand Bahama and Abaco to now have non-stop service to the United States, another means by which they can go to South Florida and connect with friends and family and to re-provision themselves as they, in some instances, tackle the rebuilding effort,” D’Aguilar said when called for comment.
“I think that this will be very useful for Bahamian citizens in those two islands that were obviously significantly damaged by Hurricane Dorian.
“And then obviously as more and more of the tourism infrastructure is restored, this will allow persons to fly directly into these islands to assist in the rebirth of their tourism industry.
“There’s still some ways to go, but you need a start and this should be a big bounce, once again just another step in the road to recovery.”
He added, “There’s still a long road to recovery, especially in central Abaco, but this is another step in the right direction.”
Both airports sustained major damage during Dorian and only just re-opened to international commercial flights a little over a month ago.
Many people have been anxious for the airports to resume normal operations, with the expectation that tourist arrivals would restore economic activity and help the islands return to normalcy.