Puerto Rico to Reopen Upgraded Terminals in Fight for Better Air Access

Skift Take

Puerto Rico’s tourism strategy is currently focused around getting more flights from a diverse set of markets to fly into San Juan — new and improved terminals accelerate those efforts.

— Samantha Shankman

Puerto Rico’s main international airport is scheduled to reopen two terminals by next year as part of a nearly $200 million renovation and security upgrade, officials said Tuesday.

The first terminal is scheduled to open in November and the second in December 2015. Both will feature high-end retail stores and new restaurants, as well as automated baggage scanners currently used only by six other airports in the mainland U.S., according to Agustin Arellano, CEO of Aerostar Airport Holdings, a Mexican company.

Spirit, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines are scheduled to move into the first terminal by February, he said during a media tour of the renovations. Aerostar also is pushing to attract new airlines, with Norwegian Air Shuttle expected to offer flights to Norway and Sweden by year’s end, Arellano said.

The renovations have generated nearly 3,000 jobs, according to Aerostar, a joint venture of Highstar Capital and Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, which operates the Cancun airport and eight other airports in southeastern Mexico.

Tuesday’s announcement comes more than a year after Aerostar signed a $2.6 billion deal with Puerto Rico’s government and took over operations of the Luis Munoz Marin airport in San Juan. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said at the time that the deal was necessary because the island’s Port Authority was struggling with some $1 billion debt and could not afford to improve or expand the airport.

The airport currently handles about 8.5 million passengers a year and is served by 31 airlines.

Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tags: puerto rico

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