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Connecting Flights from Denmark Start Dec. 20

Sept. 23, 2008 — Starting Dec. 20, Delta Airlines flights from Atlanta to St. Thomas will be timed to provide a same-day connection with Delta's Copenhagen flight.
Additionally, passengers will be able to make same-day connections with the Delta flight to St. Thomas after arriving in Atlanta on Delta flights from Amsterdam, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris and Zurich. This will end the need for passengers to spend a night on the mainland when heading to the Virgin Islands.
Delta flights departing St. Thomas for Atlanta will also provide connections for passengers heading to Denmark and the other European destinations, but overnight flights will be required for the Atlanta-to-Europe leg.
"Denmark has long been a valuable market to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and we look forward to offering visitors from this market with an added incentive to experience the destination's deep-rooted Danish history," said Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty in a news release issued Tuesday. "We are thrilled that Delta continues to support us as we seek to make travel to the USVI hassle-free for European travelers."
Delta Flight 69 will leave Copenhagen at 11:05 a.m., arriving in Atlanta at 3:30 p.m., said Allegra Kean-Moorehead, Tourism's communications director. Passengers will connect to Delta Flight 547 at 4:40 p.m. for arrival on St. Thomas at 9:08 p.m.
Returning, Delta Flight 322 will depart for Atlanta at 9 a.m., arriving at 12:10 p.m. Passengers will leave Atlanta at 6:15 p.m. for arrival the next day in Copenhagen at 9:10 a.m.
The Tourism Department anticipates a substantial increase in Danish visitors to the Virgin Island in 2009 and onward as a result of the connecting service.
In 2007, a total of 6,473 Danish visitors arrived in the Virgin Islands, according to the Bureau of Economic Research website. That year, a total of 14,881 visitors visited the territory from all European locations, including Denmark. The total number of visitors to the territory in 2007 was not listed on the website, but in 2006 the number stood at 2.6 million.
Additionally, to accommodate the demand from Danish visitors heading to St. Croix, Seaborne Airlines will offer service between St. Thomas and St. Croix at a special rate available through a variety of European tour operators. The Seaborne flights will be timed to connect with the arriving Delta flight from Atlanta, said Seaborne President Omer ErSelcuk.
The airline has one wheeled plane on hand that will fly from Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix, with two airplanes in the pipeline, ErSelcuk said. The planes are the same as those used on the seaplane trips, but have wheels instead of floats.
Seaborne will allow an additional 20 pounds of baggage free of charge for those visitors who utilize the service. The regular baggage allotment on Seaborne stands at 30 pounds.
"This was a concession we made to assist tourism," ErSelcuk said.
Danish-born Arne Jacobsen, who publishes the St. John Guidebook and other similar guides from his base on St. John, met with a Danish tour operator on a spring visit to Copenhagen. The tour operator plans to promote the flights, according to Jacobsen.
While charter flights from Denmark were tried several times, they primarily catered to "low- and middle-income" people who didn't spend much money beyond paying for the basics, Jacobsen said. The Delta connecting flights will attract people with more money to spend, he said.
"They will get people buying jewelry and going to restaurants," Jacobsen said.
The connecting Delta flight also opens up the territory to residents of Sweden, Finland and Norway. Norwegians are especially interested in visiting the Virgin Islands because 200 years ago, when Norway was part of Denmark, their ancestors worked in the Virgin Islands, Jacobsen said.
Danish residents seeking the sun currently head to Thailand because they can get there in one day, he said.
Soren Blak, who serves as the Danish consul in the Virgin Islands, was happy to hear the news about the connecting flight, but cautioned that it may have less appeal to Danes traveling from Copenhagen to the Virgin Islands than people may think.
"But if the price is right, then they'd use it," he said.
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