After nearly a year of using San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marin Airport as its only port of entry, Puerto Rico has reopened two more major airports on the island.
Puerto Rico has just relaunched two more international airports: Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla and Mercedita International Airport in Ponce.
The move comes as Puerto Rico is showing renewed strength amid the pandemic.
Indeed, hotel bookings are up 25 percent compared to a year ago, with $112 million in hotel bookings in Puerto Rico since January, according to a report from travel intelligence firm Adara.
San Juan’s airport handled 481,270 passengers in February, down from 714,837. And while that may seem like a steep decline, it’s actually a far smaller reduction than the vast majority of the Caribbean. In other words, Puerto Rico is one of a handful of destinations that are outperforming the rest of the region, along with surging travel destinations like the US Virgin Islands.
The reopening of Aguadilla in particular is a major boost for the western coast of Puerto Rico, home to popular destinations like Rincon, one of the island’s top beach spots and among the top surfing destinations in the wider Caribbean.
Aguadilla has long been the second busiest airport in Puerto Rico, with regular service from carriers like Spirit and JetBlue, among others.
Spirit has already resumed daily nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Aguadilla.
JetBlue is currently operating flights from New York to Aguadilla, also with daily nonstop service.
Puerto Rico is currently open for tourism, with a three-day pre-testing requirement; for more on Puerto Rico’s entry protocols for travelers, see here. (It should also be noted that travelers do not need to get tested in Puerto Rico before returning to the mainland United States; because Puerto Rico is part of the US, it is exempt from the CDC’s returning testing requirements).