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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Venezuelan President Raises Minimum Wage

    President Nicolas Maduro's announcement of a 30 percent increase in minimum wage comes as country is experiencing rampant inflation and economic stagnation

    Rescue Operation Brings Circus Lions from Peru to S. Africa

    Animal rights group rescued more than 30 lions from abuse at circuses in Peru and Colombia, flew them to South Africa Friday in what it called largest-ever airlift of lions

    Venezuela's Top Beer Maker Halts Output in Dispute with Government

    President threatened earlier in week to seize any plants halted by private companies and hand them over to workers

    US Reports Its First Zika-Related Death

    Puerto Rican man in his 70s died from internal bleeding related to rare immune reaction to Zika virus infection in February

    Rio Olympic Flame Visits UN Office in Geneva

    Flame, which was lit in Greece last week, was brought to UN for first time before it heads to Brazil for torch relay ahead of opening ceremony in Rio on Aug. 5

    Britain Foreign Secretary Visits Cuba for First Time in Nearly 60 Years

    Philip Hammond signed several cooperation agreements on energy, education and financial services