May 19, 20100
JetBlue Airways began its first nonstop service from Jacksonville to San Juan, Puerto Rico, this morning, giving Northeast Florida resident new connections to the Caribbean and Latin America.
The daily service departs Jacksonville at 10:23 a.m. and returns from the island at 5:45 p.m., according to a news release. Fare prices start at $89 one-way. The new service is due to the work of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority and the area’s logistics and medical business community.
“We have been trying to land service to Puerto Rico for several years and are pleased that JetBlue shares our vision,” Authority Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman said in a news release. “With the community’s support, this is the first step towards opening up additional markets in the Caribbean and Latin America.”
About 75 percent of the trade between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico comes through the Port of Jacksonville. The island also has growing potential for medical tourism, with about 16 percent of the Mayo Clinic’s non-U.S. mainland patients coming from Puerto Rico.
“This connection creates a welcome opportunity on both sides of the service,” Jacksonville Port Authority CEO Paul Anderson said. “Making access easier allows Jacksonville business to strengthen already strong ties with Puerto Rico and it is a clear win for all of us.”