Charter lines to serve San Juan and Aguadilla

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Two charter airlines are throwing their hats into the air transportation ring serving Puerto Rico.

American Trans Air will introduce two daily roundtrips from Chicago's Midway Airport to Miami, with connecting service from Miami to San Juan, beginning Nov. 16.

Rick Larsen, the airline's vice president, sales, said that the new route was added to meet "growing customer demand from the Midwest region."

The new service complements the nonstop service already in place to San Juan from both Chicago and Orlando.

One-way introductory fares based on roundtrip purchase are available for travel between Nov. 16 and Dec. 14.

The one-way special fare is $99 from Midway to Miami and $175 from Miami to San Juan.

For reservations, contact American Trans Air at (800) I-FLY-ATA.

The Web site address is www.ata.com.

North American Airlines, based in Jamaica, N.Y., launched a series of twice-weekly charters earlier this month between New York's Kennedy and Aguadilla on Puerto Rico's west coast.

Flights depart on Mondays and Saturdays through Aug. 25.

Commission ranges between 12% and 15%, depending on the volume booked.

North American operates new 757-200s and 737-800s on these flights, with full passenger amenities.

According to Bruno Scaldaferri, vice president, marketing, for North America, the new service fills the gap left by recent airline consolidations that resulted in the cancellation of service from Kennedy to Aguadilla as well as a reduction of flights from Newark.

"There is a tremendous demand to link New York's 4 million Puerto Rican residents with friends and family on Puerto Rico's west coast," Scaldaferri said.

"This demand is particularly acute in the summer season."

Additional flights could be added during the summer and at other holiday periods, depending upon the success of the new operation.

For reservations, contact Ramirez Travel at (718) 499-2777 and Valentino Travel at (718) 365-9088.

New scheduled interisland flights were added recently to Puerto Rico's transportation roster.

The following is a sampling of the new flights:

  • American Eagle introduced three flights per week between San Juan and Bonaire on June 2.
  • On May 17, the regional line launched four weekly flights to Canouan Island in the Grenadines.

    Two flights per week fly on to Barbados.

  • Pan American introduced twice-weekly flights from San Juan to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on May 24.
  • Pan American also began service between Sanford, Fla., and San Juan on the same date with a schedule of six flights per week.

    For general information on Caribbean air services, visit www.caribbeanaviation.com.

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