Bahamasair schedules three days of relief flights before being grounded

Following Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ announcement that he was closing the borders to commercial flights from the United States, Bahamasair stated yesterday that it will provide a relief flight daily over the next three days to accommodate Bahamians, Bahamian residents and persons with valid work permits wishing to return home.

The new mandate comes into effect on Wednesday, however, the prime minister said yesterday that Bahamasair flights coming from the United States would end immediately.

In a release yesterday, Bahamasair Managing Director Tracy Cooper said persons with Bahamasair tickets from any of its Florida destinations would be accommodated on the relief flights without penalty.

Others, however, have to purchase seats on the airline’s website.

“All persons returning on relief flights must be in possession of a valid Ministry of Health travel health visa. You will not be allowed to travel without this document. Government is also advising that persons have a valid PRC COVID-19 test taken within tens days prior to your flight,” he said.

“Failure to have this will result in you being quarantined on your arrival in The Bahamas. Bahamasair asks the public to remain vigilant and use best practices in this time of COVID-19.”

The prime minister said these travel restrictions were being implemented to stem the spread of COVID-19, which spiked by 49 cases since the country reopened its borders to international commercial flights on July 1.

Just last week, while lamenting the significant financial difficulties the airline is facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bahamasair Chairman Tommy Turnquest said the airline was considering reducing its flights into Florida from five days a week to four days a week.

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