JetBlue celebrates pre-hurricane levels of service to Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – JetBlue marked the return of its full flight schedule for Puerto Rico after last year’s hurricanes by celebrating with customers, crewmembers and partners Friday at San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).
The airline’s return of capacity, which coincides with its 16th anniversary of service in San Juan, “came six months earlier than originally planned,” it wrote in a release, “given the improved demand for travel to Puerto Rico as the island continues to recover from Hurricane Maria and welcomes new visitors.”
JetBlue has hired 50 new crewmembers for its San Juan operation ahead of the summer peak season. It has nearly 500 crewmembers based in Puerto Rico, supporting up to 48 daily flights between the island and 13 stateside and Caribbean cities.
In the days after Hurricane Maria made landfall, JetBlue introduced the 100x35JetBlue initiative, which provided immediate first needs for the community, while also focusing on long-term partnerships with entities such as the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC), “to encourage the return of tourism, contribute to the local economy, and invest in the island’s future.”
“Our return to our pre-hurricane flight count is a testament to the incredible resilience of Puerto Rico and our crewmembers who kept flights operating during a very difficult period,” Dave Clark, vice president sales and revenue management for JetBlue, said in the release. “We are honored to be the airline that brings Puerto Rican families together and transports tourists to the beautiful beaches and attractions of this great region. We will continue to partner with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company to bring back tourism to this beautiful island.”
“The fact that JetBlue has been able to match seat capacity levels to pre-hurricane figures 6 months earlier than expected, shows that demand has increased and that we are on track for a historic recovery,” Carla Campos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., added.
The JetBlue Foundation pledged $100,000 worth of grants to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs on the island this week. To help navigate the application process, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, a previous grant recipient for the “Girls in Aviation” program, will offer a grant-writing workshop.
The workshop will take place June 22 at the Inter American School of Law in Hato Rey. Guests can RSVP, which is required for attendance, at email@example.com. For grant criteria or to submit a letter of inquiry, interested organizations can visit jetbluefoundation.org/grants.
The foundation is accepting letters of inquiry for grants through June 29, and recipients will be announced “in fall 2018.”
“This summer,” the release adds, “the JetBlue Foundation and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) will host their second annual Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy initiative in San Juan, introducing students ages 14 to 18 to careers in aviation.”
JetBlue’s recent “Green Up” campaign included two Puerto Rico-based conservation organizations customers could vote to select to receive “Green Up” grants, with Centro de Restauración: Vida Marina Center for Coastal Restoration and Conservation at the University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla having been chosen to receive a $15,000 grant.
For more information on the 100x35JetBlue initiative, and ways to assist in Puerto Rico’s continued recovery, visit www.jetblue.com/100×35.