The massive B767-300 jet carrying about 270 passengers from Frankfurt, Germany landed at the Luis Muñoz Marín Airport mid-afternoon Wednesday, marking the return of Condor Airlines following a significant absence from the local market.
The new twice-weekly service is expected to transport more than 14,000 visitors to Puerto Rico in a year, which could represent a $9 million impact for the local economy, Economic Development and Commerce Secretary José Pérez-Riera said Wednesday during a news conference at the airport.
“Having the Condor Airlines service to Puerto Rico positively impacts our tourism in its various aspects, as well as local commerce,” Pérez-Riera said. “Without a doubt, the German market is very important as it also a link to the main European markets.”
The new Frankfurt-San Juan route will fly Saturdays and Wednesdays. Upon landing at LMM, the Condor Airlines aircraft was met with the traditional “christening” ceremony on the runway.
Petra Kelsey, regional manager for the Caribbean for Condor Airlines, described Puerto Rico as a “tourism magnet, as well as a strategically important destination for us.”
“In addition, San Juan is not only a center in the Caribbean for the airlines, but also a major cruise port. This destination allows us to consolidate our position as the airline with the broadest offering in Caribbean flights from Europe,” Kelsey said.
Germany’s prosperous economy and avid traveller population is also an ideal target for Puerto Rico, Tourism Company Executive Director Mario González said.
“Last year alone, Germans spent 62 billion Euros on travel,” he said. “In Puerto Rico, from January to September, we saw a 31 percent increase in hotel registrations by German visitors. Thanks to the re-establishment of the Condor flights, we anticipate receiving more German visitors and show them that we are the most complete and varied destination of the Caribbean.”