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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US
More

House Republicans Present Border Plan for Child Migrant Crisis

Proposal, they say, offers alternative to emergency funding requested by President Obama to deal with massive influx of illegals
More

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More

China's Xi Praises Close Ties with Cuba

Head of China's Communist Party hails common socialist bond between his country and Cuba as he kicks off a state visit in Havana
More

US Judge Orders Argentina, Creditors to Reach Deal

Lawyers for investors who declined to restructure bonds after country defaulted on about $100B in 2002 warned that time running out to reach a deal, avert fresh default
More

Trial Imminent for Detained Venezuelan Protest Leader Lopez

Lopez's wife, Lilian Tintori, says outside pressure needed on Venezuelan president to move case forward
More