Jacksonville Aviation Authority today announced that JetBlue Airways will begin daily nonstop service between Jacksonville and San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning in May 2011. The airline plans to operate one departure and arrival each day between Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) and Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan.
The JetBlue flights will be the first daily nonstop service between JAX and the island of Puerto Rico.
“This is great news for Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, especially those at the Jacksonville port, that conduct regular business with Puerto Rico,” said JAA Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman. “We have been working to put together daily service to Puerto Rico for several years and this announcement is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the JAA staff and the Jacksonville community.”
The port of Jacksonville is one of the major exporters of consumer goods to Puerto Rico. Three of the four container lines that serve Puerto Rico are headquartered in Jacksonville.
"We have been looking forward to this for a long time," said JAXPORT's Chief Commercial Officer Roy Schleicher. "Making access easier for business travelers, as well as tourists, will allow the Jacksonville-Puerto Rican connection to become even stronger than it already is and will open the door to further opportunity on both sides."
In October 2009, Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton signed an agreement with the Mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini, uniting their municipalities as "Sister Cities." With this new flight connection, the cities can continue their great exchange of commerce, ideas, and business strategies. The new flights will also offer families in Puerto Rico and on the mainland greater access to one another.
“I am extremely pleased that JetBlue will now provide nonstop service from Jacksonville to San Juan,” said Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton. “Commerce with San Juan already provides an economic impact of more than $1 billion annually to Jacksonville. Both Cities will greatly benefit from the increased tourism and business travel this improved route will encourage. I look forward to welcoming visitors from our ‘Sister City’, who will now have a greater opportunity to spend time in our community.”
David McConnell, area vice president of Waste Management Inc. of Florida, welcomed the news of the new service. He currently drives to Orlando twice a month to travel to Puerto Rico where Waste Management operates the island’s only two private landfills.
“This is great news for me,” McConnell said. “I won’t have to drive to Orlando. This also allows us to expand our operations in Puerto Rico. It’s very beneficial as we grow our business down there.”
Jerry Mallot, Executive Vice President of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, noted: “Jacksonville has a strong business relationship with Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is the largest shipping destination from JAXPORT. There are major logistics companies doing business in both areas. This is a very much needed business service and is complemented by tourism and family interests as well.”
The addition of service between Jacksonville and San Juan underscores JetBlue’s commitment to Puerto Rico. JetBlue sees Puerto Rico as the cornerstone of growth in the Caribbean, and they are happy to be able to offer expanding flights at an affordable price to their customers.
JetBlue also announced that it will add a second daily flight from Jacksonville to Boston in May 2011.
For more information, contact Debbie Jones