Delta to begin direct flights from New York to Haiti

A new US air carrier will open up a direct gateway from New York to Port-au-Prince this summer, a move directly aimed at the burgeoning Haitian-American middle class. Delta Airlines will launch daily flights between John F. Kennedy airport and Port-au-Prince on June 20, ending a long monopoly on the Haiti travel market dominated by American Airlines.
Delta plans to roll out the new connection with a special one-way fare of $129. The inaugural flight in June will mark the first service by Delta to Haiti since the 1950s when the airline maintained a regular connection between New Orleans and Port-au-Prince.
“Obviously we took a good look at the growing population of Haitians in the tri-state area and it’s not only growing, but becoming more and more successful,” said Carlos Santos, a spokesman for Delta. “There’s a well established, middle class Haitian community in both Brooklyn and Queens and the population just keeps increasing.
“The Delta people in New York kept telling us there was a good opportunity there. Just the announcement has been tremendously well received,” Santos said. “This, of course, is complementing the expansion we are doing throughout the Caribbean. We are increasing flights to the Domincan Republic from JFK as well. Definitely Hispaniola is a wonderful destination and it’s been wonderful to us on the D.R. side. We’re expecting that a lot of people will be wanting to go to Haiti with this flight.”
Santos says that the daily morning flight from JFK will be equipped with a 757-200 aircraft that has a passenger capacity of 174 people. The flights are scheduled to leave each morning from New York at 9 a.m., giving Boston travelers ample time to catch an early morning connecting flight out of Logan. Return flights to New York are scheduled to depart each day from Port-au-Prince at 12:54 p.m.
The average roundtrip cost for a single passenger on American Airlines — based on a search at American’s website this week — is $468, roughly double the cost of Delta’s introductory rate offer. American also offers direct flights to Haiti from both New York and Miami.