The FINANCIAL -- JetBlue Airways on May 14 announced plans to add a new destination to its expanding Latin America and Caribbean network. The airline intends to launch service to Quito, Ecuador's Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) with once daily service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), subject to approval of government operating authority.
The new route is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2016. Flights will be available for sale pending government approval, according to JetBlue Airways.
"We continue to see tremendous interest in JetBlue's award-winning service and inflight experience from customers traveling between the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean," said Dave Clark, JetBlue's vice president network planning. "We're proud to continue to grow our Fort Lauderdale focus city, a major gateway to the Latin America region. Demand for travel to Ecuador has been growing strongly, especially after extensive promotional efforts by the country's officials. Our customers will love Quito's historic charm and beauty, with access to beaches and mountains."
From Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, JetBlue currently offers 37 nonstop destinations, with up to 85 daily flights. The airline continues to strengthen its position in this key market as it ramps up its schedule to 100 daily flights to meet increasing customer demand in South Florida.
Quito is the closest capital city to the sun at 9,350 feet above sea level, and lies on the equator, making it one of the few places in the world where you can simultaneously have one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern Hemisphere. The city's Historic District, considered the largest and best preserved in Latin America, was declared the first World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Quito is conveniently located near the Pacific coast with beaches and fishing towns; the Andes with its Volcano Avenue; the Amazon; and the Galapagos Islands, unique in the world, where Darwin elaborated his famous theory of evolution.
"We are delighted with JetBlue's announcement of their intent to serve the Fort Lauderdale-Quito route," says Ecuadorian Minister of Tourism, Sandra Naranjo. "The U.S. is our number one market and connectivity is key to our success in attracting travelers. We are hugely optimistic the route will prove a catalyst for increasing the number of visitors from the United States to Ecuador. We couldn't hope for a better partner for our ambitious plans in this key market."
The airline serves more than two dozen international destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. JetBlue will serve the route with its spacious 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft offering the most legroom in coach*, free first-run Hollywood movies on flights to Latin America, complemented with the airline's award-winning service featuring unlimited free snacks and soft drinks.