(Credits: Spirit Airlines)

MIAMI – Spirit Airlines (NK) announced last week that it had successfully repatriated 3,000 passengers back to their homes in the month of April.

Such passengers were stranded in airports across the Americas due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic instigating nationwide travel bans.

21 flights were flown over the four-week period, bringing people back to the U.S. from Columbia, Honduras, Haiti, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Aruba, among others.

Commenting on the successful repatriation was the President and CEO of Spirit Airlines Ted Christie who dubbed this as a “bright spot” for the airline.

“Helping thousands of people find a way back to their families has been a bright spot for us during a tough time for the airline industry”.

“We know that there are still many people who have not been able to return to their loved ones, and we are committed to continuing working with governments throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to get them home,” he added.

The airline has said that it will continue to offer repatriation flights as long as it needs to and has already outlined more scheduled flights.

Photo: SURESH ATTAPATU

Two flights have already operated on May 4 and May 5 respectively from Bogota and Medellin to Fort Lauderdale but NK has the following still to do:

  • Cali to Fort Lauderdale – May 7.
  • Panama City to Fort Lauderdale – May 8.
  • Bogota to Fort Lauderdale – May 9.
  • Fort Lauderdale to Aruba – May 10.
  • Oranjestad to Cartagena to Fort Lauderdale – May 10.
  • Guayaquil to Fort Lauderdale – May 11.
  • Medellin to Fort Lauderdale – May 13.
  • Bogota to Fort Lauderdale – May 16.
  • Oranjestad to Cartagena to Fort Lauderdale – May 17.
  • Cali to Fort Lauderdale – May 18.

Another repatriation highlight for the carrier was bringing home 300 Hondurans to San Pedro Sula in coordination with the Honduran Consulate in Miami as well as the Broward County authorities and the 15 de Septiembre foundation.

Ricardo Estrada, the Consul General of Honduras in Miami thanked Spirit for its hard work in ensuring people got home to their loved ones.

“The humanitarian flights scheduled to San Pedro Sula have been a valuable opportunity for hundreds of people who have spent weeks of despair without being able to return to their homes in Honduras.”

“Today [May 1], that possibility becomes a reality thanks to the joint effort of the Honduran Government, pro-migrant organizations in Florida, and the social responsibility of Spirit Airlines,” he added.

Overall, with the negativity that has surrounded the Coronavirus pandemic, it also shows how much of a testament the aviation industry can be when helping those in need.

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