The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald are reporting that Delta will expand service in Puerto Rico, expanding its Alaska Airlines service to the territory in the first year of a $1.8 billion investment.
The Globe reported that the airline, which has been operating in Puerto Rican airspace since 2004, expects to operate more than 500 flights per week by the end of 2019.
The Herald said that Delta’s Alaska Airlines will begin operating its Alaska service from July 2020, with an expanded Alaska flight service to Guam in 2021.
Alaska Airlines operates its first Alaska flights to Puerto Rican territory on Oct. 20.
The new service will be part of Delta’s strategy to expand its international service to countries such as Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, as well as other Caribbean nations.
Delta will operate more Alaska flights from Boston to Puerto Ricos island territory than any other airline.
The airline plans to use a combination of regional routes, as it does with its Alaska flights, to service the islands.
Delta’s new Alaska flights will begin flying from Boston-Portsmouth International Airport and depart Boston, Mass., and return to Boston, the newspaper said.
The airport is located near Boston, a major hub for air travel and a hub for the international airline industry.
Delta operates two airlines, Alaska Airlines and Alaska Pacific, in Puerto RicOS territory.
Delta and Alaska Airlines also serve Puerto Rico.
The two airlines have been in negotiations with Puerto Rico over a proposed lease agreement that would allow Delta to operate flights to and from Puerto Rico for at least five years.
Alaska and Delta are also working on a lease deal that would enable the airlines to operate to and through Puerto Rico indefinitely.
Delta announced last month that it was expanding its service to San Juan and Puerto Rico to serve passengers from Boston and San Francisco.
Delta also announced that it will be expanding its flights to Cuba from the airport in San Juan, which is home to the Cuban National Air Force.
The airlines will operate flights from San Juan to Orlando, Fla., and from San Francisco to Tampa.
The announcement came as Delta and Delta Air Line announced that they will be offering the same level of service in Cuba as they offer in the U.S. The U.K.-based airlines have previously offered similar services to Puerto Rica and other Caribbean countries.
The move comes as Delta faces increased competition from American Airlines, which plans to launch its own service to Cuba later this year.
The American-owned airline said it expects to be operating its first flights to Havana in 2021, as the U,K.-owned carrier works to gain entry to Cuba’s domestic market.