Two new flights from Aguadilla’s Rafael Hernández Airport to Madrid and Barcelona, Spain are slated to begin March 31, Puerto Rico government officials announced Wednesday.
To launch the new, chartered service, Puerto Rico invested some $4 million through the Western Region Economic Development group (known as IDEO for its initials in Spanish) to establish the new routes that will also generate 100 new jobs in the western region.
The Boeing 767 aircraft that will travel to Spain on a weekly basis — departing on Saturdays to Madrid and Barcelona on Sundays — has a capacity for 214 passengers, IDEO Executive Director Enrique Cruz said.
The announcement was made from Spain, where a delegation of local government officials, private sector executives and a large media contingent are participating in the International Tourism Fair that kicked off in Madrid today.
“FITUR is one of the most important challenges when it comes to increasing Puerto Rico’s visibility and position in Europe, given that for Puerto Rico, Spain continues to be the region’s principal market for the historic and cultural ties that bind us,” said Gov. Luis Fortuño.
The new activity planned for the Aguadilla airport are the product of joint efforts between the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the Mayagüez, Isabela, Cabo Rojo, Añasco and Rincón municipal governments. The flights will be sold as part of a package that includes airfare, hotel stays, breakfast and taxes.
For now, the chartered service is slated to last for six months, but could be extended depending on its success, government officials said, noting the route is expected to generate $50 million in revenue.