Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Puerto Rico among New Direct Flights

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Puerto Rico among New Direct Flights

Article excerpt

Two airlines will be arriving at Jacksonville International

Airport in the coming months with a mix of non-stop and direct

service to five cities, including San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Tri-America, a start-up scheduled charter carrier based in

Melbourne, will begin non-stop service to Islip, Long Island and

Boston beginning Feb. 13. The company also will be flying from

Jacksonville to Melbourne, and on to Puerto Rico.

Separately, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.-based Midway Airlines said it

is returning to Jacksonville with three non-stop flights daily

to Raleigh-Durham International Airport beginning March 23.

Tri-America said its Boeing 727-200 jet will fly from

Jacksonville to Islip every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Service to Boston will be every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Flights to San Juan will be every Friday and Monday.

The flights return the same day.

The one-way fare to all destinations except Melbourne will be

$99 with a 21-day advance purchase. The one-way fare to

Melbourne with the same 21-day advance purchase will be $39.

"We believe there's a market for nonstop service to these

destinations," said Robert Kinney, Tri-America's president.

"It's a service that's coming in at a reasonable rate."

To succeed, Tri-America will have to confront the flying

public's generally skeptical perception about charter airlines

and start-up operations, said Jacksonville travel agent Steve

Crandall, president of Discount Travel.

"I don't know if there's enough population base in Melbourne

and Jacksonville to support this service," Crandall said.

"They'll have to overcome the perceptions about start-up

airlines."

A number of charter operations have collected money from

travelers but failed to take off.

As a charter airline, TriAmerica has been required to post a

$200,000 bond with the Department of Transportation, Kinney

said. …

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