New air airline routes on the island will have an estimated economic impact of $18 million
By John McPhaul
The executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (CTPR by its Spanish initials), Carlos Mercado Santiago, announced on Friday that from December 17, 2022, Delta Airline will increase service to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, starting direct flights from the cities of Boston, Massachusetts and Detroit, Michigan.
These new flights represent more than 25,000 additional seats and an estimated economic impact of $18 million between the months of December 2022 to April 2023.
“For the CTPR, the diversification and expansion of air access is a priority in the midst of a challenging operational environment due to the lack of personnel and the increase in competition between destinations. Looking ahead to the high winter season, we celebrate that Delta is betting heavily on Puerto Rico by starting flights from Boston and recovering the Detroit route. With this expansion, Delta will serve San Juan from five airports, thus increasing connectivity to the destination and positively impacting our economic development,” Mercado Santiago said in a written statement.
Service from Detroit and Boston to San Juan will be available starting Dec. 17. The new route between Logan International Airport in Boston and San Juan will have a frequency of one daily flight until April 23, 2023. The flight from Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, one of the airline’s main hubs, will start weekly every Saturday through April 8.
“Puerto Rico is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, especially for Delta customers,” said Amy Martin, Delta Airlines’ vice president of International Network Planning. Delta customers in San Juan will now have access to two additional flight hubs in the United States, where they can conveniently connect to more destinations around the world. We will continue to work to provide our customers with more flight options alongside Delta’s renowned hospitality and reliability.”
For his part, Aerostar’s chief executive officer, Jorge Hernández, said that, “At Aerostar, we consider it excellent news that Delta has decided to establish new flights and we celebrate the impact that these will generate for Puerto Rico. We recognize the challenges faced by the industry and the voracious competition that different destinations maintain to attract flights and visitors. We will continue the effort to expand seating capacity, frequencies and destinations for the benefit of our travelers. For this, it is important to continue promoting our destiny abroad successfully and we will be collaborating with other initiatives that will achieve this goal.”
Brad Dean, Chief Executive Officer of Discover Puerto Rico, said, “This shows that, despite the many economic challenges facing our industry, airlines like Delta are betting on our destination and seeing opportunities in light of the impressive results attracting visitors. These additional flights help to have better direct access from key markets for Puerto Rican tourism and allow us to stimulate and grow the demand of our market, which results in more visitors benefiting our economy and more and better jobs for our workers.”
The airline will use a B739 model aircraft with capacity for 180 passengers on both routes. The routes are in addition to existing services from Atlanta, New York JFK, and Minneapolis.
The Executive Director of the CTPR reaffirmed the commitment of the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro R. Pierluisi, to support the continued development of air access on the island, and expressed his gratitude to Delta Airline for continuing to bet and expand its service in Puerto Rico. “Delta is the longest-lived airline on the island, serving San Juan for nearly seven decades, and this commitment shows that we share the same vision about the growth potential of our tourism industry and the attractions offered by Puerto Rico as a tourist destination of excellence in the Caribbean.”