JetBlue Airways is planning to expand its focus-city operation at San Juan, Puerto Rico's Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport by launching daily nonstop...

JetBlue Airways is planning to expand its  focus-city operation at San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport by launching daily nonstop service to Tampa International Airport in May 2011 and adding a second daily flight on the route from June 2011.

The new route to Florida’s second-largest city will continues JetBlue’s expansion in Puerto Rico from the island’s three main airports. From Aguadilla, Ponce, and San Juan, JetBlue Airways will offer service in 2011 to U.S. mainland destinations Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, New York, Tampa, as well as intra-Caribbean service to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

Tickets for JetBlue’s new Tampa-San Juan route will go on sale at in October. JetBlue will be competing on the route with low-cost rival AirTran Airwayx, which also announced on September 16 that it would begin Tampa-San Juan service. AirTran will launch service between Tampa and San Juan on April 5, 2011.

An Airbus A320 of JetBlue Airways completes its landing run at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport

“Air access for Puerto Rico is key to our economic development,” says Jaime Lopez Diaz, chief development officer and director of air access of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico.

“We are grateful to have great airline partners like JetBlue, which has grown consistently its air seat capacity to Puerto Rico year over year,” adds Diaz. “This new route announcement, that increases the air seat capacity from Tampa and nearby cities like St. Petersburg and Clearwater, demonstrates the commitment that JetBlue has with Puerto Rico, and is the result of a great working relationship that we have with our partner airlines. This increase in seat capacity benefits our tourism industry, commercial development, and our homeport cruise industry.”

Since entering the Puerto Rico market in 2002, JetBlue has expanded its presence to support not only the island’s thriving tourist trade but also the links between families of Puerto Rican heritage on the island and on the mainland. JetBlue employs a growing staff of more than 150 staffers throughout the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. With up to 19 daily departures from San Juan, the city is among JetBlue’s top 10 most-served destinations.

JetBlue will operate its Tampa-San Juan service with Airbus A320s, which offer all-leather seating for 150 passengers.