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The first plane to Puerto Rico from Wilmington takes flight

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

Avelo Airlines celebrates the inaugural flight to San Juan from the First State.

San Juan, Puerto Rico is the first destination outside of the continental United States departing from Wilmington Airport in its nearly 80 year history of commercial flights.

This follows a string of successes for Avelo Airlines locally. In the 10 months it’s been operating out of ILG, they’ve flown over 200,000 customers.

Avelo Head of Communications Steven Olson has been with the airline since it launched in 2021. He says the San Juan flight supports their mission of connecting family and friends.

“When we discovered that the Greater Philadelphia/Delaware Valley region has the second largest Puerto Rican community in the continental U.S., it just seemed like a natural fit to be able to bridge that connection between the island of enchantment and this greater Delaware Valley region,” explained Olson.

Wilmington Chief of Police Wilfredo Campos was born in Puerto Rico.

“It's just a really exciting time for all of the Puerto Ricans in the entire mid-Atlantic region,” said Campos. “ I’ve gotten calls from people saying how important it is to be able to hop on a flight quickly and be able to return back and have it be very affordable at the same time.”

Latin American Community Center CEO Maria Matos says the affordability aspect is important.

“It’s a blessing that the community can travel and it won’t cost so much,” said Matos.

Flights to San Juan will be available 2 days a week - Wednesdays and Saturdays, with more days to be added if there’s enough demand.

This is the airline's 11th non-stop destination from Wilmington.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021