What we know about the flights the refugees took

Dornier 328 aircraft like this were used to send migrants and refugees to Martha's Vineyard. — WikiMedia/Cory W. Watts


There has been some confusion about where the two flights came from that landed at Martha’s Vineyard Airport on Wednesday afternoon — mostly because Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken credit for the flights even though they originated in Texas.

Both planes originated at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, then went to Crestview, Florida, Martha’s Vineyard Airport director Geoff Freeman told The Times. From there one plane went to Spartanburg, South Carolina and then traveled to the Vineyard and the other went to Charlotte, North Carolina before coming to the Vineyard.

Both airplanes that landed at Martha’s Vineyard Airport yesterday carrying migrants were Dornier 328s. The planes were designed as commercial aircraft but have been put to use as charter aircraft — run by Ultimate Air, according to Martha’s Vineyard Airport Director Geoff Freeman. Ultimate Air LLC is located in Omaha, Nebraska. A voice message left with Ultimate Air LLC wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.

The planes didn’t need permission from airport management to land, according to Freeman, as the FAA controls flights and Martha’s Vineyard Airport is a public service airport. When asked, should additional planes come with migrants if they can be redirected, Freeman said not by airport management. Generally speaking, he said, “we cannot deny flights.”

The vans that picked the migrants up from Martha’s Vineyard Airport yesterday and dropped them off in Oak Bluffs at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services were allegedly from Martha’s Vineyard Excursions of Oak Bluffs. A woman who answered the phone at Martha’s Vineyard Excursions said, “I have no comment.”

An earlier version of this story had the wrong name of the charter company.


  1. This is for the times editor…. not sure who to contact, but if any help is needed for transporting any of the immigrants, please ask …. i am willing to help and am available at most times….
    thanks so much….

  2. When I asked a conservative friend if he thought Floridian taxpayers were ok with spending this kind of money, he said no problem, as everyone was fleeing Mass and going to Florida, so they have a bigger tax base.
    I checked– he was right.
    Mass has an 8 % higher rate of emigrants than immigrants.
    Florida has a 12% higher rate of immigrants than emigrants.
    Indeed, about 35,000 more people moved out of Mass than moved in last year.

    I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank governor Desatanist for taking in our retirees and sending us motivated young people who want to work and contribute to our communities for years to come.
    According to the statistics, we could use another 34,950 this year.
    It seems you spent $615,000 to send us these 50 wonderful people.
    That’s $12,300 per person–
    I directly appeal to you, Governor, make up our shortfall please– it will only cost Florida’s taxpayers about $430 million per year. We need motivated workers here. Thank you sir.

    Also, thanks for the landing fees and your purchase of aviation fuel at our airport.

    It might take a while for it all to pan out, but we know the people who arrived here last week will become productive members of our communities as soon as they can.
    They are here– they have a shot at the American dream. It seems they are up for it.

    Perhaps you can work out a deal with our governor (he’s a republican) to help with the real humanitarian crisis of homeless veterans facing the prospect of freezing on the streets of Mass towns this winter. You do like veterans, right ? You wouldn’t want any of them to freeze to death would you, sir ?

  3. Right on! This is political theatrics that require an award! Hands down.
    What the good governor DeSantis did was show how well he knows the boardgame called #INOcampaigndonations

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