TAMPA – Tampa International Airport has captured the attention of two popular airlines – AirTran and JetBlue to provide new daily nonstop, low-cost service from Tampa to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Jackie Rojas-Quinones, president, Tampa Latin Chamber stated, “As president of the Chamber, we are extremely honored that our voices are being heard. We are bridging an enchanted island with our enchanted people. “
The Puerto Rican population is one of the fastest growing in the Tampa Bay area and working closely with the Latin community, Trudy Carson, air service director, Tampa International Airport, gathered marketing support from various groups to add to the Airport’s commitment.
“This is great news for the Tampa Bay community. Now everyone needs to travel and support the investment in this new San Juan service,” stated Chris Steinocher, chief operating officer, Tampa Bay Partnership.
The new AirTran flights, which will begin on April 5, 2011, join the airline’s extensive Caribbean schedule.
"As a Florida-based airline and one that has been operating from Tampa since 1993, we are excited to announce this expanded service and believe the local business and leisure community will support and benefit greatly from quality low fare competition on this route," said Kevin Healy, AirTran Airways' senior vice president of marketing and planning. "There are tremendous synergies between Central Florida and Puerto Rico. San Juan is one of our most popular destinations from Orlando and we are confident it will be an extremely popular destination from Tampa as well."
In addition, JetBlue announced plans to expand its San Juan, Puerto Rico focus city and begin daily nonstop service to Tampa International Airport in May 2011 with a second flight beginning in June 2011. This new route to Florida's second-largest city continues JetBlue's steady expansion in Puerto Rico from the island's three main airports. From Aguadilla, Ponce, and San Juan, JetBlue offers service to destinations on the U.S. mainland including Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, New York, Tampa, plus intra-Caribbean service to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Tickets for JetBlue's new Tampa - San Juan route will go on sale at www.jetblue.com in October.
“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in Puerto Rico in recent years thanks to the support of our loyal customers. Today, we're pleased to bring the great JetBlue experience customers have known for years, complete with its low fares and high quality service, to the San Juan-Tampa flier," said Scott Laurence, JetBlue's vice president of network planning. "Whether it's visiting friends and relatives, conducting business, or just planning a summer vacation, this new route will offer travelers more options and a pleasant alternative to the other guys.“
“San Juan is a top destination for Tampa. So in bringing this service to Tampa with two airlines, both dedicated to customer service with competitive fares, we know that this will not only increase competition in the market but provide better fare opportunities for our travelers,” stated John Wheat, interim executive director, Tampa International Airport. “Our community partners stepped up to support the Airport working with AirTran and JetBlue to make this possible; we could not have accomplished this alone.”