The rumor mill is hot and heavy that American Eagle -- the short-hop subsidiary of American Airlines -- will be abandoning its San Juan, Puerto Rico hub next year. There's been no official announcement, but the local media in San Juan is reporting that American Eagle will cease operations there as part of American's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. American Airlines reportedly has informed its Puerto Rico employees that the Caribbean hub will be closed by March 2013.
American Eagle daily flights from San Juan have already fallen from about 100 in 2000 to around 20 or so now.
Anyone who travels regularly in the Caribbean knows what a big deal this is: For decades, American Eagle has been one of the biggest players in regional air service between San Juan and the other islands of the Caribbean, and its inter-island routes won't be replaced easily. JetBlue has started to fill some gaps --offering flights between San Juan and St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for example -- but it remains to be seen whether other regional airlines will step in, as well.
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