It has been nearly three months since the Bahamas closed its borders due to COVID-19. The country ceased all commercial flights for both domestic and international travel. The Bahamas recently announced they would be reopening its borders on July 1st for all travel, and airlines are now releasing their relaunch plans for flights to the region.
The Bahamas’ flagship airline, Bahamasair, is one of the airlines that has announced its new operations plans. When flights resume, they’ll be very different. All passengers will be required to wear masks before boarding, and physical distancing on the aircraft and in the airport will be enforced.
Tracy Cooper, Managing Director at Bahamasair stated, “We will practice social distancing and NAD (Nassau Airport Development) will monitor and make the necessary adjustments as we go on. All passengers are required to wear masks and flight attendants will wear masks as well. Flight attendants will also wear gloves and there will be no catering of any kind on the flights. We will have some water and that is only for those who need it. We are asking all passengers to hydrate themselves before the flights and after the flights.”
American Airlines, a major airline that flies into the Bahamas, has also recently announced its plans for relaunching flights into the country. The Ministry of Tourism confirmed that American Airlines would be relaunching services to Nassau and Exuma on July 7th, just after the country reopens.
Other airlines that fly into the region such as Southwest, United, and JetBlue have announced their intention to begin service to the Bahamas again as well.
However, visitors will notice that flights are still limited and many airlines still have not released availability or details yet. Minister of Tourism and Aviation, D’Aguilar stated that flights will be reduced for a while, but there are no restrictions in place to limit airlines from adding more flights.
Visitors to the Bahamas will notice changes to travel once they arrive. In addition to airport changes, travelers will also be required to complete a standardized travel and health form. Physical distancing practices may also cause the check-in process to take longer than usual.
“We must remember that we are living in a new normal in the wake of COVID-19 and a lot is going to change across the tourism sector.”