Vieques Air Link

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Vieques Air Link (VAL) is a small Puerto Rican airline company that links Vieques with Culebra and mainland Puerto Rico.

Contents

History

Operations began on 1965, with owner Osvaldo "Val" Gonzalez-Duriex piloting a plane with 3 passengers from Vieques to Humacao. A Cherokee aircraft and another airplane were also acquired later, allowing the airline to serve Isla Verde International Airport.

In 1968, Vieques Air Link added a flight to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.

In 1980 Fajardo airport was built and Vieques Air Link started flights to the new airport immediately. In the 1980s the company increased the frequency of flights to San Juan, Humacao and Culebra. In 1989, Vieques Air Link lost its whole fleet to Hurricane Hugo. However, it soon acquired seven Britten-Norman Islanders and three Trislanders.

In the 1990s VAL got into financial trouble. With the Vieques conflict, more and more Puerto Ricans began flying Vieques Air Link every day to go to military camps to protest, and the police also had to fly their personnel and the people arrested in those areas on VAL planes at various times. Others, like political leaders Ruben Berrios and Fernando Martín, and the 2002 Miss Puerto Rico, who is from Vieques, have had pictures taken by the press aboard VAL planes while flying to Vieques, giving the airline a new wave of unpaid-for promotional attention.

In 2008, VAL started a new route between VQS and the new José Aponte de la Torre Airport (JAT) at the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, shortening the flight between Vieques and the isla grande to seven to eight minutes in a Caravan.

Destinations

Vieques Air Link provides service at the following locations[1]:

Fleet

Accidents

  • December 21, 1971 - an Islander, N589JA, with 1 crew and 7 passengers crashed at Culebra airport. Upon landing, The aircraft bounced on landing. The pilot initiated a go-around over hills. The aircraft was unable to clear a house and crashed.

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