AMERICAN AIRLINES CELEBRATES 40 YEARS TO HAITI
NEW YORK (March 10, 2011) – American Airlines is celebrating the end of four decades since it first touched down in Haiti, the world’s first black-led republic, on March 2, 1971.
Back then, it was an American Airlines Boeing 707 aircraft which took off from New York’s JFK airport en route to Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.
CAPTION: Peter J. Dolara – SVP, Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America, American Airlines.
Today, American uses Boeing 737 and 767 aircraft to offer six daily nonstop flights to Haiti – three from Miami International Airport, two from Fort Lauderdale and one from JFK. American also operates flights into Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport though regional affiliate American Eagle which currently offers daily service to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, using its ATR-72 aircraft.
“All of us at American are proud to commemorate the 40th anniversary of providing air transportation to Haiti,” said airline veteran Peter Dolara, American’s Senior Vice President – Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America. “In the past four decades, we’ve celebrated expanding our service into Haiti, but we’ve also rallied together to help Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake. Our commitment to Haiti has never wavered, and we look forward to celebrating our next 40 years.”
When the earthquake devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, American Airlines landed the next day and flew 30 missions into Haiti, transporting relief workers, medical personnel, more than 400,000 pounds of humanitarian aid, while evacuating more than 700 people. These special relief flights, which were not a part of normal passenger operations, were coordinated in conjunction with relief organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Yele Haiti and Airline Ambassadors International.
Restoring normal airline service quickly was critical to Haiti. American Airlines is an important contributor to Haiti’s economic development, flying not just hundreds of thousands of passengers every year, but millions of pounds of cargo, mostly agricultural commodities, and it resumed commercial flights on February 19, 2010. American Airlines’ Flight 377 from Miami was actually the first commercial passenger flight back into Haiti after the earthquake.
American and American Eagle currently serve 35 destinations throughout the Caribbean – more than any other U.S. airline.
This month, American will partner with a number of Caribbean journalists on a mission to highlight Haiti’s new triumphs and continuing challenges to regional and international audiences.