Spirit Airlines Announces Additional Routes to San Juan
SAN JUAN – Spirit Airlines announced Tuesday new routes to San Juan. Beginning Feb. 14, the Florida-based ultra-low-cost carrier will begin daily nonstop service to Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) from Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI).
Spirit already serves Muñoz Marin Airport and had launched nonstop service connecting Orlando, Fla. to Aguadilla inOctober.
Both routes will be served with 182-seat A320 aircraft, “which will generate an annual economic impact of approximately $57.7 million,” according to Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s office.
“We are pleased to know Puerto Rico is a priority destination in the aggressive expansion plan of Spirit Airlines to open new routes and serve more cities,” Rosselló said, referring to the airline having recently announced it will be starting service in Jacksonville, Fla., which will also connect to Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Detroit, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale.
The new route between Tampa and San Juan will join the resumption of nonstop seasonal flights starting in November between Tampa and Akron-Canton, Boston, Cleveland, Hartford, Latrobe, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh, Spirit said.
Rosselló said one of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Destination Recovery and Management Plan’s objectives is to achieve the same air passenger numbers the island enjoyed in mid-2017.
“That gap has been decreasing, and seeing airlines like Spirit grow its presence in Puerto Rico exponentially is an excellent indicator that our commitment to tourism as a spearhead for the economic resurgence is a wise one,” the governor said.
Along with the governor’s statement, Tourism Co. Executive Director Carla Campos added that Southwest has 14 weekly flights to both Baltimore and Tampa, while Jetblue serves Tampa with 14 weekly flights alike.
“The expansion of service in these cities with seven weekly frequencies to each city represents an opportunity to serve the population of Puerto Ricans residing in the continent, as well as attracting more leisure and business visitors. This also validates that the growth indicators we have recently reported for tourism are materializing in business opportunities for our industry partners,” she said.
The Tourism Co. said negotiations are underway with, among others, American Airlines, Delta and United, which is expected to begin expanding its service to Puerto Rico in the coming months “as the lodging inventory opens up, as it is currently undergoing remodeling.”
“We are so proud to have been serving Puerto Rico since 2001, and we are thrilled to be expanding here again,” Mark Kopczak, Spirit’s vice president of Network Planning, said in the airline’s announcing release.
“Spirit’s announced route expansion is advantageous both for visitors and local passengers, as it provides a greater frequency of flights with new schedule options. It also facilitates access to the island for groups and conventions,” said Agustín Arellano, CEO of Muñoz Marin Airport’s operator, Aerostar Puerto Rico. “The more flights we have, the closer we get Puerto Rico to other destinations and the more attractive we are to visitors.”
Spirit provides unbundled fares, whereby only chosen options are paid for. It operates more than 500 daily flights to 69 destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.