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JetBlue to fly direct SJU/Chicago route in November

JetBlue will connect San Juan Chicago. via direct flights starting Nov. 20. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

JetBlue will connect San Juan Chicago. via direct flights starting Nov. 20. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Reaffirming its commitment to Puerto Rico, JetBlue Airways announced today new direct service from San Juan to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport starting Nov. 20. The decision reflects the island’s largest carrier’s approval of the result of the process leading up to the selection of the new administrator of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, the company said.

The airline, which led San Juan airport’s airline affairs committee during the public-private partnership process that wrapped up last week, “would like to thank the Government of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, the Federal Aviation Administration and Aerostar Airport Holdings for a transparent, efficient and ultimately successful process.”

The new daily nonstop service from San Juan to Chicago, JetBlue’s 17th nonstop destination from San Juan, is scheduled to begin Nov. 20, 2013 and expected to be out for sale soon.

“As the largest carrier in Puerto Rico, we are very pleased to be partnering with Aerostar at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan,” said JetBlue’s President Dave Barger. “We are confident Aerostar will be great stewards of the public trust and provide a great solution for both the airlines serving San Juan and the people of Puerto Rico. Today, we’re supporting this new administration by announcing more service from San Juan.”

This privatization will allow JetBlue to continue serving the Puerto Rico community with great service and competitive fares, while expanding its network and offerings.

JetBlue’s schedule between San Juan and Chicago calls for a daily flight out of LMM at 3:45 p.m. arriving Chicaco at 6:55 p.m. The return flight leaves the Windy City at 9:30 a.m. and arrives to LMM at 4:10 p.m.

“We are very pleased to connect the sizable Puerto Rican population that calls Chicago home with convenient service to visit their friends and family on the Island,” said Barger.

“We believe these new flights will complement our existing service well as we continue to serve Chicago with competitive fares and the best experience in the skies, complete with a free checked bag, the most legroom in coach, unlimited free snacks and drinks, free live television, and our award-winning crewmembers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the new connection is “great news for O’Hare International Airport, our local economy and for city residents — especially for Chicago’s vibrant Puerto Rican community.”

Jetblue President Dave Barger (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

JetBlue President Dave Barger (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

“New air service results in millions of dollars in economic activity and new jobs for our city. JetBlue’s decision to expand its service offerings from O’Hare demonstrates that Chicago is a high demand market and premier destination for business, tourism and families,” Emanuel added.

From San Juan, JetBlue currently flies to 14 nonstop destinations, 10 within the continental US: Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Hartford, Jacksonville, New York (JFK), Newark, Orlando, Tampa, Washington D.C. (Reagan National) and West Palm Beach, and four within the Caribbean: Santo Domingo, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and St. Croix. JetBlue also offers daily nonstop services between the U.S. mainland and Aguadilla and Ponce.

“This announcement represents a big step for Puerto Rico as a tourism destination. With this new route we reassure the priority that air access has for our administration.  It fills me with pride to be a part of this new era and that JetBlue continues to believe in the potential of our Island as a destination,” said Puerto Rico Tourism Company Executive Director Ingrid Rivera-Rocafort.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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