American Airlines remains committed to the Caribbean says VP

American Airlines Vice President for Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 16TH 2012 (CUOPM) – With American Airlines, adding two-nonstop flights to St. Kitts in November bringing the number of flights from the Sunshine State to nine weekly, the carrier’s Vice President for Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America, Art Torno said the airline remains committed to the Caribbean region and plans to strengthen and expand its service through its Miami hub in particular.

“The center piece of our strategic vision for the Caribbean is our Miami hub. This year, which has been a transitional year and a challenging one in regard to our restructuring process, which began 11 months ago, we increased service to 28 international destinations from Miami, including 12 in the Caribbean,” said Torno at a presentation at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Industry conference in St. Kitts.

Torno forecasted a 60% growth in the Miami hub in 10 years, with much of that growth focused on the Caribbean as well as Mexico and Latin America.

Although the pullout of American Eagle from San Juan will be completed by March 31, 2013, “be assured that we are looking at and talking with other airlines to fill in for American Eagle from Miami and San Juan,” Torno said.

“American will not leave a void in those Caribbean destinations that are critically important to us and to our Caribbean partners,” he said.

“We are in deep negotiations with other airlines to augment our route system in the Caribbean and looking at adding capacity and service where it makes sense,” Torno said.

American has served the Caribbean region since 1971 when it acquired Trans Caribbean Airlines, followed by the purchase of Eastern Airlines’ Caribbean route system in 1989.

The carrier currently serves 33 Caribbean destinations.

American Airlines, American Eagle at RLB

“Our growth and success in the Caribbean region has been a collaborative effort involving governments, industry and hotel associations and other public and private sector partners,” Torno said.

The two additional flights to the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport beginning on November 16, 2012, just in time to impact the peak winter 2012/2013 travel season will operate from Miami on Fridays and Sundays, supplementing the carrier’s existing daily non-stop service from Miami and allowing for more connections from North American and international feeder markets.

The southbound American Airlines flight AA1153 will depart Miami (MIA) at 4:45 p.m. and arrive into St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) at 8:35 p.m. every Friday and Sunday.

The northbound return flight AA1726 will depart St. Kitts at 8:40 a.m. and arrive into Miami at 11:05 a.m. every Saturday and Monday.

American Airlines will use a Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 144 Economy Class seats and 16 Business Class seats for this flight. All flights are listed in local time.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. the Hon. Richard Skerritt said the addition of two rotations over critical weekend days from Miami will provide additional options for travelers to and from the twin-island Federation.

“These flights will meet the growth in demand that we anticipate in 2013 and are ideally timed for moving honeymoon and romance travelers as well as meeting and incentive groups, presenting us with more.

American Airlines presently operates a daily flight to St. Kitts from Miami and a twice weekly flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International.

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