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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Football Star's Stepfather Kidnapped, Released

Lawyer for family of Argentina's Carlos Tevez said player's stepfather appeared to be unharmed
More

Video Young Migrants From Central America Risk Life and Limb to Get to US

For tens of thousands of young people trip north is fraught with hardship and danger
More

Mother of Slain Mexican Teen Sues US Border Patrol

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was in Nogales, Mexico on October 10, 2012, when US agent shot him through border fence from Arizona
More

Planning Post-2015 Development

UNDP official calls for investing in people
More

Magnitude 6.3 Quake hits Mexico, No Major Damages, Injuries

Earthquake hit southwest of Juan Rodriguez, in eastern Mexican state of Veracruz at a depth of 95 km (60 miles), the US Geological Survey says
More

California Governor on 3-day Trade Trip to Mexico

With immigration facilities bursting at the seams, Jerry Brown says child migration is on the agenda during his trade visit
More