American to end NYC-to-San Juan Route

The carrier will end its nonstop flights between New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in August, a route with a 46-year history.

The news was first reported by the blog RoutesOnline.

It’s a startling piece of news given the popularity the route once enjoyed, justified by the number of people who identified as Puerto Rican. According to the 2010 Census Bureau, just over 1 million Puerto Rican-Americans lived in New York City alone.

By 2014, that number had diminished to just under 720,000 and had been surpassed by the number of Dominicans residing in the city.

“We have made the difficult decision to cancel our service” between JFK and San Juan, American spokeswoman LaKesha Beown told USA Today. “We continually evaluate our network, looking at supply and demand for each route we serve. We want to ensure our fleet and crews are serving routes that are profitable, better positioning us for long-term success against global competition.”

San Juan was once a hub for American Airlines, flying some 100 flights a day to the US and other Caribbean destinations until the carrier pulled the plug on San Juan in 2013.

American will continue service to San Juan from five other destinations, including Miami and Charlotte, while the NYC-to-San Juan route will be filled by the five current daily flights from JFK via JetBlue and four other daily flights scheduled seasonally this summer on Delta.