JetBlue Airways, Puerto Rico’s largest carrier, announced Thursday plans to add two routes from San Juan: Punta Cana and Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, starting in May 2013. The routes will fill a gap left by American Eagle when it scaled back operations out of the Luis Muñoz Marín Airport.
The new flights will push to six the number of routes connecting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, where JetBlue already flies to Santo Domingo. To mark the start of the new route, JetBlue launched a flight sale as low as $89 until Nov. 13, 2012, for travel between May 1, 2013 and June 12, 2013.
The announcement coincided with the carrier’s partnership with Banco Santander Puerto Rico and MasterCard in a co-branded credit card, the Santander JetBlue MasterCard, which will give customers in Puerto Rico the ability to take full advantage of the carrier’s TrueBlue loyalty program.
“With the new JetBlue co-branded credit card, our customers in Puerto Rico will be able to start taking full advantage of all of the benefits of our TrueBlue loyalty program while maximizing their points earned,” said Dave Canty, JetBlue’s director of loyalty marketing and partnerships at an event held Thursday at LMM.
“As the largest airline in the island, this launch couldn’t come soon enough but I’m happy we found the best partners, Banco Santander Puerto Rico and MasterCard, to ensure that customers not only receive the best service but get the most out of this program,” Canty added.
The new Santander JetBlue MasterCard offers its customers: 15,000 points for $1,000 spent in first three months of card membership; up to eight points per dollar spent on flights and Getaways packages on jetblue.com; one TrueBlue point per dollar spent everywhere else and per dollar of balance transfer; $50 back for purchase of a JetBlue Getaways vacation package; points that don’t expire when you’ve earned points from using your Card in the last 12 months and; no blackout dates on JetBlue-operated award flights
“At Santander, we’re very excited with the launch of the new Santander JetBlue MasterCard credit card, the only one that offers the possibility to fly to U.S. or Caribbean destinations with only $1,000 spent in the first three months of card membership,” said Benjamín Vélez, Banco Santander Puerto Rico’s corporate communications, marketing & public policy director.
“Without a doubt, a benefit that marks a precedent in the local credit card loyalty programs industry thanks to the strategic alliance we have established with JetBlue Airways, the island’s fastest growing carrier and with our card partner MasterCard,” he said.
“Not only do we predict the success of the new card but we trust its attributes and merits to become the bank’s next credit card flagship product that could eventually be available in other countries where Santander Group has presence and where JetBlue also flies,” Vélez added.
Meanwhile, Jeff Wilson, president of MasterCard’s Latin American and Caribbean Geo Central division, said the new product offers “new possibilities to MasterCard cardholders since it not only allows them to get closer to their destinations, but it also gives them easy access, convenience, security, and most importantly, great benefits and value throughout their shopping experience.”
“This is part of our commitment to seek new and relevant alternatives for our cardholders, and is tied to our deep commitment to Puerto Rico’s tourism industry and economic development,” he said.