News / Americas

Spirit Airlines Resumes Flights to Haiti

Since the earthquake hit Haiti, Spirit Airlines has dedicated staff and aircraft to assisting with the humanitarian aid relief efforts for the Haitian community
Since the earthquake hit Haiti, Spirit Airlines has dedicated staff and aircraft to assisting with the humanitarian aid relief efforts for the Haitian community

Multimedia

Audio
  • LeMaire interview with Misty Pinson of Spirit Airlines

  • LeMaire interview with Jesus Cruz of American Airlines

South Florida-based Spirit Airlines resumed daily flights to Port-au-Prince, Haiti on March 4.  Regular passenger service to the country, considered an important market for the carrier, was suspended after the January 12 earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation.

"Spirit has had daily service to Haiti before the earthquake hit and ever since the earthquake hit we have been working diligently to resume that service that was suspended due to the damage that was done due to the earthquake so we're very excited that has been able to happen and flights are now going daily between Fort Lauderdale and Port-au-Prince," said Misty Pinson, Director of Corporate Communications for Spirit Airlines.

Spirit is currently offering a $65.71 one-way seven-day advance purchase fare for travel between Fort Lauderdale and Port-au-Prince. Pinson says the announcement was well received by customers.

"They're just excited to have that ultra-low fare option available - there's other airlines out there charging twice as much as that and they haven't been able to afford that fare, so they are excited that we're back and offering that type of fare they can afford," Pinson said.

Passenger traveling to Haiti on American Airlines first commercial flight to Port-au-Prince after earthquake, 19 Feb 2010
Passenger traveling to Haiti on American Airlines first commercial flight to Port-au-Prince after earthquake, 19 Feb 2010

American Airlines was the first commercial airline to resume flights to Haiti on February 19. Its fare for the same route (one-way) is currently $285.  Jesus Cruz of American Airlines in Miami doesn't think the Spirit Airlines announcement will affect his company's business.

"With the years we have on the market, I want to say that it won't affect us that much," he said. "We have a good stronghold on the Haitian market so I think they'll be loyal to American Airlines because of the service we provide and the frequency that we provide."

Asked whether American Airlines would match Spirit's "ultra-low fare", he responded that the company is always monitoring market trends.

"Working from the airport I cannot answer specifically on pricing structure but we do from time-to-time monitor the market trends and we do match when necessary, the prices that are offered in the market," Cruz said.

Many Haitians complain that airline ticket prices between Miami and Haiti are way too high, making it difficult for them to travel back home to assess earthquake damage and bring aid to family members.

Father Reginald Jean Marie of Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic church in Little Haiti, Miami
Father Reginald Jean Marie of Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic church in Little Haiti, Miami

Catholic priest, Father Reginald Jean Marie of Notre Dame d'Haiti church is very outspoken about the issue.

"American Airlines, Spirit, Air France ... should make an effort to lower their fares. It's really absurd to think that a trip to the Dominican Republic costs about $300-$350 while a one-way ticket to Haiti costs $400, up to $600. That is an injustice," he said.

Haitians in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood echoed that sentiment during interviews with VOA.

After the earthquake, Spirit airlines sent staff and planes loaded with humanitarian aid to assist with the relief efforts in Port-au-Prince and communities near the Haitian capital.

"We dedicated staff and aircraft to assist with the aid effort immediately following the earthquake," Pinson said. "We donated a couple hundred thousand dollars' worth of flights full of water and supplies that we took down to assist in the efforts and worked with Food For The Poor in distributing those supplies in Port-au-Prince and throughout the area. In addition, we ran several promotions through our web site, spiritair.com."

The airline gave 5,000 free frequent flyer miles to everyone who donated at least $5 to the Red Cross, UNICEF or Yele Haiti - singer Wyclef Jean's charity organization.

American Airlines is also offering free frequent flyer miles to AAdvantage members who donate to the American Red Cross to help Haiti Relief efforts through March 31.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

US, Cuba Teams Discuss Telecommunications Issues

US delegation visited Cuba this week as the two nations continued efforts to restore diplomatic relations broken over 50 years ago
More

Egyptian Court Adjourns Trial of Al Jazeera Journalists to April 22

Two journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organization, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt banned following 2013 army takeover
More

Rio Exhibition Dramatizes Olympian Bay Cleanup Task

Display highlights problem of trash in Guanabara Bay, where sailing, windsurfing events are to take place in next Summer Games
More

Chile Says Drought Permanent, Lays Out Water Plan

President Michelle Bachelet says government will invest in desalinization plants and reservoirs to ensure access to potable water
More

Poll: Venezuelan Leader's Popularity Inches Up to 25%

Rise comes after United States declared Venezuela a security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials
More

High Winds, Drought Feed Chilean Forest Fires

Blazes have ravaged swaths of China Muerta and Nalca Lolco reserves and Conguillio national park, revered for its ancient forests
More