Direct flights to southern Europe resumes from Puerto Rico

Published on : Thursday, November 14, 2013

Direct flights to southernSan Juan: Puerto Rico will resume direct flights to Southern Europe with a new route between San Juan and Madrid, which is expected to start operating next May and should help attract some 15,000 tourists a year.


The director of the island’s tourism agency, Ingrid Rivera, said that the new air route will be operated by Spain’s Air Europa, with two flights a week.


Puerto Rico lost its direct air link to Southern Europe in March, when Iberia Airlines abandoned the Madrid-San Juan route after more than 60 years.


Iberia’s departure left Puerto Rico with German-based Condor, which flies between San Juan and Frankfurt twice a week, as the only direct air link with Europe.


Rivera estimated that the annual economic benefit the new route will have for Puerto Rico will be to the tune of $38 million.


“We’re opening a new door to the European Union with a route for the business traveller and tourist,” Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Tuesday.


Puerto Rico receives an average of 12,000 Spanish visitors a year, the most from any European country.


The announcement of the new Air Europa flights came soon after Colombia’s Avianca launched direct flights between San Juan and Bogota and the United States’ Southwest Airlines flights between San Juan and Orlando and Tampa, Florida, the location of a growing Puerto Rican community.

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