TCI News

September starved of flights to TCI; fear that many people will be starving too

File Photo from Delta News; at PLS in Turks and Caicos Islands

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – August 25, 2020 – September will be starved of flights to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos and for the travel industry the slim serving of passengers and tourists could also mean starved pantries for the islands’ families.

Only international carriers, American Airlines and JetBlue will continue service to the Turks and Caicos throughout September; a usually slow season for the country.  Uncharacteristically, British Airways has taken Providenciales off the schedule for next month.

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Covid-19 fears kidnapped the busy tourism period through lock downs and curfews and border closures in a mad scramble to block and slow spread of the contagion, which is now nearing one million people dead.

Southwest Airlines had announced, for them, there would be no return until 2021. 

British Airways about a month ago ended its commutes to Providenciales; the action has made European travel vexing for those going and coming.

Delta Airlines recently stopped flights to Turks and Caicos and will not return until November 1. 

The decision by Delta is yet another casualty in what is increasingly becoming an economic war against the enigmatic enemy, which is COVID-19.

Delta initially reduced flights from its hub in Atlanta, Georgia to twice weekly, on Saturdays and Sundays only.  Now, the airline which ran daily flights between the Turks and Caicos and the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, is temporarily halted.

Sadly, reduced flights to Providenciales were anticipated for a variety of reasons. 

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Not least among them, the announcement by Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos to reopen, not on July 22 as did the country’s airport borders, but in mid-October.

The competitiveness for COVID-19 test results within the requisite five days for approved travel to the TCI has also been fingered as tedious to travellers.  Couple the entry requirement with measures by other countries to keep coronavirus case numbers down, and mandatory self-isolation upon return in destinations like the UK and Canada, travel has become a frenzied experience not worth the trip.

Air travel is no longer easy, no longer fun and potentially unsafe, yet it is the lifeline between the Turks and Caicos and its 500,000 long-stay visitors, which was for the first time achieved in 2019.

Air Canada has also decided to discontinue flights to the Providenciales International Airport.

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The airline explains to Canadians that: “due to the impacts of COVID-19, government travel advisories and/or health and safety concerns” flights will end in September.

Air Canada will cease service on September 12, Magnetic Media is informed.  The airline plans to return to the PLS on October 3.

While flights are usually decreased in September; travel and tourism professionals admit the pandemic magnifies the losses. 

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