Spirit Airlines Expands Nonstop Service to Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN — Spirit Airlines has expanded its service to Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) with daily nonstop flights from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), with a second daily flight from EWR beginning Feb. 1.
Spirit organized an event with SJU’s operator, Aerostar Airport Holdings LLC, to celebrate the first flights arriving Thursday from Newark and Boston.
“For Aerostar, it is a priority to be able to provide passengers with the greatest amount and frequency of flights. This way, we can expand the island’s possibilities while further developing visitor traffic,” Aerostar CEO Jorge Hernández said of Spirit, adding that the airline makes up 9 percent of the airport’s traffic.
“We appreciate Spirit Airlines’ commitment with the expansions of service in Puerto Rico with new daily flight routes from Newark and Boston. Each destination will have 64,970 additional seats annually, which represents an economic impact of approximately $25 million for Newark and $28 million for Boston,” said Carla Campos, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC).
Camilo Martelo, regional director, Airport Services International at Spirit; and Puerto Rico Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy also attended the event.
Martelo assured that the carrier is committed to growing in Puerto Rico.
“In 2001, we started operations on the island and since then we have received great support from our passengers. In the last year we have maintained an average of approximately eight daily flights and, to date, we have transported approximately more than 100 million passengers to and from San Juan.”
For his part, Laboy said the additional routes are part of the bet that the government and the private sector are making in the growth of tourism in Puerto Rico and of the island as an entertainment hub. However, the official is also looking at the Newark and the Boston routes as particularly strategic for the government’s plan to attract investors to the island.
“Precisely when we came out with the study on the impact of Acts 20 and 22, what they are indicating is that the northeastern region of the United States is one of the places where we are receiving a lot of investment,” the secretary said.
Laboy also pointed out that the new flights are to areas where the Puerto Rican population has been growing and argued that part of the importance of the routes is to maintain the connection with those who have moved stateside.
“We need to continue connecting the Puerto Ricans who live here with our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters and the rest of our fellow citizens living in the United States,” Laboy concluded.
This year has been one of expansion for Sprit. For the island, in addition to the Newark and Boston routes, earlier in the year, the airline increased its service from Puerto Rico to Orlando, Florida, to Baltimore and to Washington, D.C. Internationally, the airline signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus for the purchase of 100 new Airbus A320neo Family aircraft, together with the option to purchase up to 50 additional aircraft. The MOU includes a mix of Airbus A319, A320, and A321 models. These aircraft are planned for delivery through 2027.
Three other cities will receive an additional daily flight to SJU in 2020 to complement existing service to the island. Tickets are on sale at Spirit.com for the following:
- Orlando International Airport (MCO), effective Feb. 21
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), effective March 1
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), effective May 21
“We are thrilled to expand our Puerto Rico service portfolio with new destinations and more nonstops to beautiful San Juan,” John Kirby, vice president of Network Planning at Spirit Airlines, said in a release. “Our new flights from Boston and Newark give our Guests more opportunities to escape to this incredible destination of discovery and leisure.”
Spirit operates more than 600 daily flights to 75 destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.