JetBlue recently announced its intent to operate service between Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) and Orlando International Airport (MCO) later this year.
JetBlue intends to launch this route, which currently does not have nonstop service, in December pending government approval. Seats are expected to go out for sale in the coming weeks.
Orlando will become JetBlue’s fourth focus city with service to Port-au-Prince. JetBlue currently offers nonstop flights to the Haitian destination from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). JetBlue operates nearly a third of its capacity in the Caribbean and Latin America.
“Service between Orlando and Port-au-Prince will provide a valuable link between Haiti’s capital city and many communities in central Florida that currently lack nonstop flights from their closest major airport,” said John Checketts, vice president of network planning for JetBlue, in a written release. “Now, with flights from four of our focus cities, JetBlue will connect more U.S. cities with Port-au-Prince than any other airline.”
Travel Agent broke the news last week that Sunrise Airways, an airline based in Haiti, will be introducing its first nonstop flights from the U.S. to Port-au-Prince.
A spokesperson for the airline told us that Sunrise is targeting a start date of October 17 for the new service. The initial route will connect Orlando with Port-au-Prince, nonstop for the first time, according to a Sunrise spokesperson. Travel Agent was also told that this is only the tip of the iceberg with more U.S. flights to Haiti expected to be announced by Sunrise by the end of the year.
Sunrise will operate an Airbus A320 on the route with business and coach seating. There will be a total capacity of 150 passengers.
This will be Sunrise Airways' first nonstop flights from the U.S. to Haiti. Besides Sunrise and JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air France and Spirit Airlines also fly nonstop to Haiti from the U.S.
Port-au-Prince is set on a natural harbor on the Gulf of Gonave, making it one of the country’s premiere destinations. The city’s layout is divided with the commercial areas near the water and the residential areas in the hills. JetBlue was also a large supporter of rebuilding efforts following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, partnering with agencies such as the American Red Cross to help with aiding efforts.
Toussaint Louverture International Airport is the busiest airport in Haiti and recently underwent renovations, which increased the terminal's capacity to about 800,000 passengers per year. The Haitian government spent more than $6 million in the restoration of the airport.
Visit www.experiencehaiti.org and www.jetblue.com. Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for all your latest travel news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent’s Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike and Instagram @pike5260.