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.