The Caribbean-American community in Boston is celebrating increased air options for travel to the United States Virgin Islands this winter.
Media practitioners, travel representatives and community personalities joined officials from the USVI Department of Tourism at industry events in Boston last week to celebrate the start of new JetBlue Airways non-stop service to St. Thomas, and the connecting service to both St. Thomas and St. Croix via San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The new schedule to the Caribbean features five weekly flights between Logan International Airport and St. Thomas’ Cyril E. King Airport. The outbound flight to St. Thomas operates non-stop, and the inbound flight to Boston flies via San Juan, Puerto Rico. The service complements the recent start of a JetBlue commuter service between San Juan and St. Thomas; and another between San Juan and St. Croix.
Caribbean-American broadcasters David Martin and Robert “Bobby G” George; television producer and community liaison Marcus James; Shirley Shillingford, President of the Caribbean American Carnival of Boston; and Albertha Brown of Encore Tours were among those from the West Indian community who celebrated the new service to the USVI.
“We look forward to welcoming Virgin Islanders living in the United States’ mainland as well as the wider Caribbean Diaspora community aboard these new flights to the territory,” said USVI Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty who emphasized the department also continues to embrace and support nonstop American Airlines flights from Boston to the USVI.
During last week’s celebrations, Virgin Islander steel panist and college professor Justin Petty, and Chef Orlando Santos of Bravo TV’s Top Chef Just Desserts showcased the musical and culinary genius of the territory with impressive exhibitions of steel band music and artistic cuisine. The USVI-based Caribbean Ritual Dancers infused the spirit of the Caribbean into Bostonians as they brace for another cold winter season.
Among the other media personalities warming up to the new flights were NBC reporter Janet Wu and the Boston Globe’s Greg Lee, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, who were both spotted at Wednesday’s media reception.