PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 25, 2005) On Tuesday, October 25, Apple Vacations and USA 3000 Airlines will begin repatriating passengers that have been stranded in Cancun as a result of Hurricane Wilma.
Apple Vacations, the largest tour operator to Mexico worldwide, has worked diligently with USA 3000 Airlines and local and national Mexican officials to allow USA 3000 airplanes back into Cancun first for the repatriation of American passengers back into the United States. In total, 13 USA 3000 Airlines airplanes began flying as early as 8:00 a.m. today into Cancun. They are the only confirmed flights to and from Cancun this day. Apple Vacations was advised that the first of its planes had arrived safely in Cancun.
Flights will depart every half hour from Cancun Airport to Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Newark and Columbus in order to get as many of our passengers home by Tuesday as possible. Our first priority is for a safe and rapid return of all passengers. As a result, the airline has cancelled service to Florida and other Caribbean resort destinations to ensure that much-needed aircraft can be flown to Cancun. Flights into St. Louis and Philadelphia have already arrived and early reports indicate that passengers are in good spirits and very grateful to be home.
The Mexico Department of Tourism has reported that some hotels, while not necessarily fully operational, are now able to accommodate passengers in lieu of shelters. As a result, by yesterday afternoon (Monday), many of Apple’s vacationers who had moved into Cancun shelters last week to wait out the storm have been moved back to hotels.
“Apple Vacations and USA 3000 Airlines management has been working around the clock to ensure a safe and quick return home for our passengers,” said John Mullen, chairman and chief executive officer of Apple Vacations, based in Newtown Square, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Mullen added, “While every attempt has been made to make these passengers as comfortable as possible in shelters under the circumstances, we know they are eager to return home to family and friends as quickly as possible. We’re all working very hard to make sure that they do.”
About Apple Vacations:
One of the country’s leading tour operators, Apple Vacations currently offers vacations packages to Hawaii, the Caribbean Mexico, Costa Rica, The Bahamas, Bermuda, as well as ski vacations throughout the United States and Canada. Celebrating 35 years in business, Apple Vacations offers convenient and affordable vacation packages to the most popular beach and ski destinations from over 40 U.S. cities. Travelers can take off on USA3000’s new, technically advanced Airbus A-320s, featuring expansive headroom and legroom, state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems, first-run movies and choice of two entrees on every Apple flight. www.applevacations.com