SAN JUAN -- American Eagle will launch daily service between San Juan and Vieques, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 16, using Super ATR twin-engine 64-passenger aircraft. Bookings opened on Oct. 16. 

The flight will depart San Juans Luis Munoz Marin International Airport at 2:30 p.m. and arrive in Vieques at 2:59 p.m. The return flight will leave Vieques at 3:30, arriving in San Juan at 4 p.m.

Under construction now at the Rivera Rodriguez Airport in Vieques are a lounge, baggage facilities and a car rental booth for American Eagle passengers. Through-checking of baggage will be offered so that passengers can check luggage through to their final destination.

The new building will comply with Transportation Security Administration requirements for security screening.

The $800,000 construction project at the airport was substantially funded by Reig Capital Puerto Rico Inc., developer of the nearby 156-room Martineau Bay Resort & Spa, according to Rabin Ortiz, general manager.

The resort, which was formerly under the Wyndham banner, will be converted to Ws first Caribbean property by December 2006 at a cost of $25 million, Ortiz said.

The new air service and facility will make it a lot easier and more seamless for travelers coming to Vieques, Ortiz said.

Current options from San Juan include twin-engine, nine-passenger flights on Cape Air, Vieques Air Link and smaller lines, including Flamenco Air and Air Sunshine. There also is passenger ferry service from Fajardo (on the mainland), Puerto Rico, to Vieques.

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

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