Airlift frequency and capacity to the Caribbean have increased in the past year, according to Hugh Riley, the Caribbean Tourism Organization's director of marketing, Americas.

"The continued rise in air service to and through the region reflects the airlines' tremendous level of confidence in the Caribbean and its attractiveness to vacationers," Riley said.

The increased service between many Caribbean countries has made intra-Caribbean, island-hopping travel a "lot easier for travelers by allowing them to experience multiple destinations during a single trip to the region," said Riley.

Here's a rundown of new services:

" Air Jamaica will offer four nonstops a week from New York's JFK Airport to St. Lucia's Hewanorra Airport, continuing on to Barbados, effective Jan. 11. The flights will operate Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

" American Eagle will add two daily flights between San Juan and Anguilla, effective Dec. 14.

" Continental will add a second weekly nonstop flight from Newark to Bonaire, effective Dec. 16.

" Caribbean Airlines is replacing BWIA on Jan. 1. Tickets purchased on BWIA will be honored, and frequent-flyer miles in Club BWEE automatically will be transferred.

" Delta will add a daily nonstop from Atlanta to Santiago, Dominican Republic, as well as a daily nonstop from JFK to Punta Cana and a one-stop from Newark to Punta Cana (the stop is in Atlanta), effective Dec. 9. On Dec. 15, Delta will add a daily nonstop from Atlanta to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and a weekly nonstop flight from Atlanta to Martinique, effective Dec. 16.

" Northwest Airlines will add a nonstop flight from Detroit to St. Thomas, effective Jan. 6.

Services recently launched include daily flights on Air Montserrat between Montserrat and Antigua; a daily nonstop flight from Antigua to Trinidad on Caribbean Sun; and a third daily, roundtrip flight from Grenada to Barbados on Caribbean Star. Caribbean Star also resumed daily service between Trinidad and Guyana.

JetBlue now offers a daily nonstop flight from JFK to Aruba, US Airways offers nonstop service from Washington/Reagan National to Bermuda through March; and WinAir added a fifth daily flight from Montserrat to Antigua.

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To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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