[Updated with video] The island’s corporate community are coming together to help bring students currently stranded in the U.S. back home, with local businesses set to charter two special flights from Atlanta today to enable a number of students and family members to return home.
A BDA spokesperson said, “The corporate community and the Bermuda Business Development Agency [BDA] are coming together in response to the country’s goal to bring Bermudian and Bermuda resident students currently stranded in the U.S. home during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Butterfield, Skyport, Zurich Bermuda, Freisenbruch Insurance Group and SOL Petroleum Bermuda will charter two special flights from Atlanta today to enable a number of students, whose universities and colleges have shut down, and family members to return home.
“NetJets, HM Customs and the Department of Immigration have mobilised resources to operate the flight, land the plane and process the deplaning passengers.”
Roland Andy Burrows, CEO of the BDA, said, “These are uncertain and unsettling times for people around the world. Our students in the U.S. who haven’t been able to find a way home as their schools closed and airlines suspended international flights, faced even greater uncertainty, as did their families.
“Working together we are pleased that we have been able to find a solution to get our students home to their loved ones during this time. We thank all of those involved for their help. One of Bermuda’s many great strengths is the resilience of her people and our ability to pull together as a community in times of difficulty.”
“The charter flights are expected to land at L.F. Wade International Airport this evening. Deplaning passengers will be required to self-isolate and monitor their health status for 14 days per Government policy.”
Update 9.01pm: The Premier said, “A number of local and international businesses have joined an effort coordinated by the Bermuda Business Development Agency to charter flights from Atlanta today to enable a number of resident who were not able to travel on the Delta flight which was cancelled earlier this week, to be able to return home.
“Of course we recognize that flight was cancelled due to New York air traffic control closing and the fact is, and this is significant because we have changed our approach. Persons who are on board that flight will be required to self-quarantine and many of them will be housed in a quarantine facility which have been offered by the Government of Bermuda.”
Update 9.30pm: What we assume, but do not have officially confirmed at this time, to be these two jets touched down earlier this evening, we saw one come in followed by another – video added below. The statement above mentions NetJets and says the two flights were coming from Atlanta and would land this evening, and according to online flight trackers, these two flights were operated by NetJets and came from the Atlanta area. They were the smaller private jets, not large commercial planes.