Puerto Rico requests transfer activities authorisation for foreign carriers operating to the US

10 June, 2019

US DoT announced (10-Jun-2019) Puerto Rico, on behalf of its international airports, requested exemption authority from the DoT for all foreign carriers authorised to serve the US to enable expanded cargo and passenger transfer activities at Puerto Rican airports. Puerto Rico claimed that the requested flexibility significantly advances the public interest for the as it will:

  • Promote expanded passenger and cargo air service to and from Puerto Rico by taking advantage of the Island's geographic location on the Great Circle route between Europe and Latin America;
  • Increase use of three substantially under-utilised international airports which include the longest runway in the Caribbean and a major maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility; Enable Puerto Rico to promote economic development by highlighting to foreign carriers, industry, and tourism organisations the benefits of Puerto Rico for online and interline connections as well as for origin and destination point traffic;
  • Facilitate rebuilding the Puerto Rican economy following Hurricane Maria which caused catastrophic infrastructure damage estimated at between USD15.5 billion and USD19.5 billion, with the total economic loss in the range of USD54 billion to USD68 billion;
  • Provide expanded air service specifically needed to aid Puerto Rico's recovering pharmaceutical and medical industry, which represents over 25% of the Island's economy, as well as the Island's growing technical services industry;
  • Benefit US carriers by expanding interline opportunities with foreign carriers providing increased service to Puerto Rico;
  • Support a shift in the growth in passenger and cargo traffic seen now at foreign airports in the region to include the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Panama to US airports in Puerto Rico;
  • Advance expansion of foreign tourist traffic from Europe to Puerto Rico's 300 beaches and numerous attractions and away from foreign destinations importantly to include Cuba; Bolster US' presence and influence in the Caribbean and Latin America and counteract the intrusion of nations, such as China, with interests adverse to the US in the region. [more - original PR]