FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Hispanic American Business Alliance (HABA) of Southwest Florida announced success after pushing for year-round flights between Florida Southwest International Airport (RSW) and Puerto Rico.
In September, RSW reported numbers were down in August 2023 by 3% from the previous summer, but they may soon see a spike.
Leonardo Garcia, President of HABA, says he needed the community support in his year-long push and it's what made all the difference.
"It was very helpful in getting a lot of emails, text messages, calls, and with that information," said Garcia.
Garcia says as of now, direct flights out of RSW are only seasonal, which he pushed for in years past since COVID took the year-round flights away.
According to the US Census (2022), 24.3% of the Lee County population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, which Garcia says makes this direct flight all the more important.
Florida Southwest International Airport tells Fox 4 they do not have flight information, a start date, or fares finalized at this time.
Garcia says starting in December, four flights a week through Spirit Airlines will allow people to fly back and forth for easier travel between the U.S. territory, and he's hoping for more nations to be added to the list.
“From here, I can envision Puerto Rico; Dominican Republic; Caribbean; Columbia; South America; and Central America, but it takes one to start," said Garcia.