The new route will depart from Southwest Florida International Airport, Fort Myers. In addition, Minneapolis will have access to San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, via Fort Myers during the summer months.
Sun Country is further expanding its reach into the Caribbean with the new route, which is scheduled to operate on Sundays from May 3, 2015 to August 23, 2015, with additional service on Thursdays from June 11, 2015 to August 20, 2015.
This is Fort Myers first non-stop route to Puerto Rico, and it is expected to generate new business and tourism opportunities at both ends of the route. Fort Myers is a gateway to the Southwest Florida region and a major tourist destination within the State.
Robert M. Ball, A.A.E., executive director of the Lee County Port Authority said: “One of the Lee County Port Authority’s key air service initiatives has been to attract air service to Puerto Rico and these new flights will conveniently link our region to one of the most popular, vibrant travel destinations in the Caribbean.”
“Our business community and residents with family and friends in Puerto Rico will now be able to travel directly from Fort Myers. We are also excited to welcome visitors from Puerto Rico to enjoy our beaches and water sports such as kayaking and fishing, golf and baseball, as well as dining and shopping,” he added.
In the past two years more than two million bi-directional O&D passengers have flown between points in Florida and Puerto Rico. The US majors of American Airlines and Delta Air Lines had dominated this market during the early and mid-2000s but now JetBlue Airways is the largest carrier serving this market with Spirit Airlines and Southwest Airlines also growing their activities, the latter through the inheritance of the AirTran Airways network.
In our analysis, below, we highlight the largest carriers flying from Florida to Puerto Rico by annual bi-directional O&D demand. This data clearly shows how the arrival of JetBlue in Puerto Rico changed the dynamics of the market. The airline started flights into the country in May 2002 but its flights between Florida and Puerto Rico did not come online until 2006 but since then it has grown rapidly.