US major American Airlines is to introduce a second weekly rotation on its existing flight between Miami and Fort-de-France from November 27, 2013 to March 26, 2014. The frequency growth will follow just six months after the carrier inaugurated services on the route in April 2013, the first scheduled non-stop link to Martinique from the US mainland in five years. The new service will be operated using a Boeing 737-800 configured with 16 Business Class and 134 Economy seats.
"This expansion showcases American Airlines' commitment to Martinique as a tourist destination," said Mrs. Karine Roy-Camille, Commissioner of the Martinique Tourism Authority. "Martinique is more than ready to welcome American travelers during the winter season and beyond. With this additional flight and better air service, the island of flowers can become a top Caribbean destination for visitors coming from the United States."
American Airlines previously had an offering to Martinique through its American Eagle regional partner providing daily flights between Fort-de-France’s Aimé Césaire International Airport and San Juan in Puerto Rico, but this route closed at the end of March this year. According to schedule data, the last scheduled flights to the US were operated by Delta Air Lines with a weekly rotation between Fort-de-France and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from December 2006 to April 2008.
Looking back into the 1980s and 1990s there were regular links to Fort-de-France from Miami. Air France provided links to Martinique from a regional hub at Miami International Airport between October 1988 and September 1992 and then again between April 1996 and March 1998. Before that Air Guadeloupe offered flights between December 1992 and March 1993, while Eastern Airlines served the route between April 1984 and December 1985. American Airlines also served the island from New York during the 1980s with Douglas DC-10 and later Boeing 727 services from JFK International Airport up until 1987.
The island of Martinique is situated in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea and is an overseas département of France with a culture culture that blends French and Caribbean influences. It is home to a growing population of approximately 412,000 citizens, up around eight per cent since 2000. The country’s economy has been mainly based on the trade of agricultural products but tourism has taken a more important role as a source of foreign exchange in recent years as sugar production has declined. Small industry now accounts for around eleven per cent of GDP and agriculture around six per cent, mainly due to the trade of bananas to Europe.