American Airlines will resume service into Port-au-Prince, Haiti, beginning Friday, Feb. 19. The first flight will depart from American’s hub at Miami International Airport at 6:40 a.m. EST, arriving at Port-au-Prince at 8:35 a.m. EST. This flight marks the first commercial passenger aircraft into Haiti since the earthquake that devastated the country on Jan. 12.
“All of us at American Airlines and American Eagle have been eager to restore our normal operations into Haiti,” said Peter Dolara, American’s Senior Vice President – Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. “These flights serve as major milestones toward helping the country rebuild. With commercial air service restored, we can better connect loved ones and provide consistent transportation to and from Haiti.”
American will offer three daily nonstop flights – two from Miami International Airport and one from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. In addition, American will offer one flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport four times per week. American will operate flights into Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport with its Boeing 737 and 767 aircraft.
Starting March 12, American Eagle will begin new service into Haiti from its San Juan, Puerto Rico, hub. The airline will offer a daily nonstop flight as well as two flights through two cities in the Dominican Republic – Santo Domingo and Santiago. American Eagle will operate its ATR-72 aircraft on flights into Haiti.
“We have begun our journey to recover from the catastrophic earthquake, but with support from companies like American Airlines, we hope it won’t be nearly as long,” said Ralph Latortue, Consul General of Haiti in Florida for the Southern U.S. “We are very grateful to American Airlines and American Eagle for their continued commitment to Haiti. Not only are they the first passenger airlines to return to Haiti, they were the first commercial airlines to start bringing relief supplies to help our people.”
American has proudly served Haiti since 1971 and employs more than 100 people in Port-au-Prince. Since Jan. 13, just one day after the earthquake, American Airlines and American Eagle will have flown 30 missions into Haiti, transporting relief workers, medical personnel, more than 400,000 pounds of humanitarian aid and evacuating more than 700 people. These special relief flights, which are not a part of normal passenger operations, have been coordinated in conjunction with relief organizations including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Yelé Haiti and Airline Ambassadors International.
In conjunction with the Haitian government and international construction firm Odebrecht, American immediately began the process of repairing its airport facilities. Odebrecht’s team, along with 30 American employees who became assistants to the construction team, worked around the clock in order to repair the airline’s Port-au-Prince terminal so that within six weeks American could resume commercial service.
Thanks to the efforts of American’s AAdvantage members, more than $1.4 million has been donated to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief since Jan. 14. American has been collaborating with the American Red Cross to provide aid to earthquake victims. AAdvantage members can earn a one-time award of 250 bonus AAdvantage miles for a minimum donation of $50 or 500 bonus miles for a donation of $100 or more to the American Red Cross through March 31. Donate now at www.AA.com/DisasterRelief.
In order to ensure that all customers’ luggage and relief supplies are accommodated on their scheduled flights, each passenger may check up to three additional pieces of baggage for flights into Port-au-Prince and the Dominican Republic. Excess baggage charges will apply. Oversized and overweight bags may also be accepted with applicable charges. In order to best accommodate all customers, American and American Eagle will be unable to donate seats or provide free cargo space on commercial flights. Individuals who are interested in sending aid or volunteering in Haiti are strongly encouraged to contact relief organizations to learn more about where assistance is needed most.