How to Reach Ponce by Airplane

Choose the local Mercedita Airport, or fly to San Juan

While most destinations will require tourists to fly into the main international airport near San Juan, Ponce is home to another smaller airport with limited international flights. This means many travelers from the United States will be able to fly directly to their final destination rather than plan a flight path that takes them to several different cities, towns, and airports.

Mercida Airport

Located three miles east of Ponce, the Mercedita Airport (PSE) has been an international airport since 1990, and overseas the arrival and departure of more people through its gates than the general population of itself.

Mercida originally opened in the 1930s as a private airstrip, and has seen much work done to it over the years. The runway has been extended several times over the years, from its original length of 850 feet long to its current 6,904 feet which is capable of handling a typical jumbo jet. The terminal building has also seen its share of upgrades, and currently houses a large baggage claim, immigrations, customs, and vending areas, as well as a comfortable passenger waiting area.

Although many airlines have had scheduled services to the airport on a regular basis over the years, Jet Blue is currently the only international air carrier with daily flights to Mercedita Airport at this time. The daily services began in June of 2005, and continue to bring passengers to and from the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, New York as well as the Orlando International Airport (MCO) in Orlando, Florida. Both of these airports are major hubs for international airports in the United States, which means even tourists who don't live nearby can easily book a quick flight with Jet Blue to either airport and continue on to Ponce.

Flying to San Juan

In some cases, it is easier, cheaper, or more convenient for tourists to book a flight from the airport nearest to their home town to the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in Isla Verde near San Juan then transfer by plane or car to Ponce, rather than fly directly to Ponce. You can also store luggage here for $6(USD) a day per bag if you need to do so before traveling to a destination you may be spending a shorter period of time in.

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is a regional hub, and you can get flights to the airport from most major cities in the United States with numerous airlines including Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. There are also flights available from Canada, Europe, and South America.

The following chart lets you know which airlines schedule flights from the United States and the places they fly from. Not all flights you will find listed on the web are logical choices so it can be useful to realize which airlines provide direct service to this location.

Mercedita Airport U.S. Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Orlando, FL, USA MCO Jet Blue
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport U.S. Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Baltimore, MD, USA BWI AirTran
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA FLL AirTran, Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines
Jacksonville, FL, USA JAX Jet Blue
Miami, FL, USA MIA Air Berlin, American Airlines, British Airways, WestJet
Orlando, FL, USA MCO Jet Blue
Tampa, FL, USA TPA Jet Blue, Southwest Airlines
West Palm Beach, FL, USA PBI Jet Blue
Windsor Locks, CT, USA BDL Jet Blue
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport European Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Madrid, Spain MAD American Airlines

Flying to Ponce from the Caribbean

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda ANU LIAT, Seaborne Airlines
Basseterre, St. Kitts SKB Seaborne Airlines
Culebra, Isla de Culebra CPX Air Flamenco
Dominica DOM Air Sunshine, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines
Dominican Republic SDQ Jet Blue, Seaborne Airlines
La Romana, Hispaniola LRM Seaborne Airlines
Martinique FDF Seaborne Airlines
Mayagüez, Puerto Rico MAZ American Airlines, Cape Air, United Airlines
Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis NEV Air Sunshine, American Airlines, Cape Air, Seaborne Airlines, United Airlines
Pointe a Pitre, Grande-Terre PTP Seaborne Airlines
Puerto Rico RVR Air Flamenco
Punta Cana, Hispaniola PUJ Seaborne Airlines
Santiago De Los Caballeros, The Dominican Republic STI Jet Blue, Seaborne Airlines
Simpson Bay, The island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten SXM Air Sunshine, Jet Blue, Seaborne Airlines
Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda VIJ Air Sunshine, American Airlines, Seaborne Airlines
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands STX Jet Blue, United Airlines
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands STT Air Sunshine, Cape Air, Jet Blue, United Airlines
St. Vincent, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines SVD LIAT
The Valley, Anguilla AXA American Airlines, Cape Air, United Airlines
Vieques, Puerto Rico VQS Air Flamenco, Air Sunshine, American Airlines, Cape Air, Seaborne Airlines, United Airlines, Vieques Air Link
the BVI, British Virgin Islands EIS American Airlines, Cape Air, Seaborne Airlines, United Airlines, VI Airlink

Next Stop, Ponce

After arriving, you can then fly with Cape Air to Ponce. There are five flights available each day, lasting about 25 minutes, and they cost $154(USD) round trip.

You can also drive the 90 minutes from Isla Verde to Ponce by renting a car. Car rentals cost between $40 and $70(USD) a day, making this the less expensive option, especially if you are traveling with several people. Drivers will take Las Americas Expressway south to Highway 52 and continue south to the coast, then west to Ponce.

Ponce is one of the easier cities on Puerto Rico to find flights to, but it will come down to a choice between flying direct or stopping in Isla Verde first. Take your schedule and budget into account and the best option for you will quickly become clear.

The following chart enables you to contact one of the regional air charter services.

Charter Operators
Name Phone Location Island
Air America Main Office (787) 276-5669 Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport - Isla Verde Puerto Rico
Air Sunshine at SJU (888) 879-8900 Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport - Isla Verde Puerto Rico
Charter Flights Caribbean (787) 791-1240 Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport - Isla Verde Puerto Rico
Fly BVI Office at SJU (284) 495-1747 Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport - Isla Verde Puerto Rico
Fly BVI Pickup Service from STT (284) 495-1747 Cyril E King Airport - 2.9 mi. (4.7 km) West of Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Seaplanes in Paradise (888) 842-2055 Pier 6, Old San Juan - Viejo San Juan Puerto Rico
Shoreline Aviation at STT (340) 642-3000 Cyril E King Airport - 2.9 mi. (4.7 km) West of Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
 

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