Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2020. 10:08 am CST.
By BBN Staff: The United States is leading global infections for COVID-19 with over 3 million cases prompting some states including Florida, which had reopened after lockdowns, to close again. And while businesses in Miami are closing down, Miami International Airport (MIA) is seeing a gradual return to normalcy as American Airlines (AA) resumes flights to the Caribbean.
An article published this week in the Miami Herald notes that AA’s resumption of flights has expanded from 100 daily flights to around 160 flights operating at around 51 percent of its usual schedule from MIA. The expansion has reportedly brought up passenger traffic in MIA to around 40,000 people a day. AA reopened its service to the Caribbean in June by resuming flights to Jamaica and Antigua and expanded this month to include Haiti, Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic. AA also plans to resume flights to St. Lucia, Aruba, St. Vincent, St. Maarten, and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos later this month.
Notably, AA has removed the social distancing requirement from its flights and has begun filling planes to capacity. Juan Carlos Liscano, American Airlines’ vice president of operations for Miami, said that the airline has employed the use of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which are hospital-grade, and believes “that combined with face coverings and disinfecting process, it will provide a safe travel experience for our customers.”
As AA’s flights expand more Americans are seeking to travel to the Caribbean, however many countries in the region have been tightening their requirements for entry, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the US. Belize is scheduled to reopen the Philip Goldson International Airport on August 15, which has sparked concerns locally about whether or not the country can handle an influx of visitors from a country where the pandemic is at its worst.
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