Delta Air Lines is launching a major expansion to the island of Puerto Rico, Caribbean Journal has learned.
In a major boost for the island’s tourism fortunes, particularly in the wake of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Fiona, Delta is launching a pair of new nonstop routes to San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport.
Beginning Dec. 17, Delta is kicking off nonstop service from both Detroit and Boston to San Juan.
The new flights will represent 25,000 additional seats to the island over a four-month period, according to Carlos Mercado Santiago, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
The service will also represent an economic impact of more than $18 million, Mercado said.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The new Boston-San Juan service will operate daily, running though at least April 23, 2023.
The flights from Detroit’s Wayne Country Metropolitan Airport will run weekly on Saturdays, with service through April 8, 20223.
Both routes will be operated on Boeing 737-900 aircraft with capacity for 180 passengers.
Delta already flies to Puerto Rico from New York, Minneapolis and Atlanta.
“Puerto Rico is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, especially for Delta customers,” said Amy Martin, vice president of International Network Planning for Delta Airlines. “Now Delta customers in San Juan will 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 coupled with Delta’s renowned hospitality and reliability.”
Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport has been one of the fastest-growing airports in the hemisphere since the onset of the pandemic, for much of the year eclipsing its pre-pandemic passenger traffic.
“This shows that, despite the many economic challenges facing our industry, airlines like Delta are betting on our destination,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “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.”