Cutting the ribbon in Toronto for WestJet’s first route to Puerto Rico were Pamela Griffith-Jones, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority; Robert Palmer, Manager Public Relations, WestJet; and Sunny Montgomery, Puerto Rico Tourism Company. In the terminal, passengers were treated to a Puerto Rican dance performance. Palmer then gave WestJet aircraft models to Mario Gonzalez Lafuente, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company; Arnaldo De Leo, Aviation Director, Puerto Rico Ports Authority; and Jaime López-Díaz, Chief Development Officer, Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce.
- WestJet has added four more routes that are all aimed at Canadian leisure travellers wanting to head south for at least part of the winter season. As mentioned last week, one of the new routes is from London (YXU) in Ontario to Cancun (CUN) in Mexico. Flights operate weekly to start with but increase to twice-weekly from mid-December. Also new are weekly flights between Thunder Bay (YQT) and Montego Bay (MBJ), and between Victoria (YYJ) and Phoenix (PHX) in Arizona. Finally, a twice-weekly service is launched from Toronto (YYZ) to San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico. Although currently uncontested, Air Canada will compete on the route when it resumes for the season later this winter with three flights a week. Last winter, the route was also operated by Sunwing. “We are very excited to be launching non-stop seasonal service to Puerto Rico,” said John MacLeod, WestJet’s VP Network Management and Alliances. “San Juan is known as one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the world as well as for its own distinct charm and hospitality. We look forward to offering our guests the opportunity to travel to our 17th Caribbean destination.” José R. Pérez-Riera, Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico, added: “Developing air access to Puerto Rico is essential for our economy. In the last two years we have been able to attract three new airlines to serve Puerto Rico, and we have the honour now of welcoming WestJet. The new Toronto-San Juan flight that WestJet is establishing in Puerto Rico is estimated to have an economic impact of $6.8M.” Mario González Lafuente, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, noted: “It’s a pleasure to welcome WestJet to Puerto Rico. Securing non-stop air access to the Canadian market has been a priority of our administration for its positive impact in the tourism industry. Canadian travellers represent 18.5 per cent of our international hotel registrations. In collaboration with WestJet Vacations, we are working on packages tailored to the needs and likes of that market.”