updated 4/6/2009 4:08:49 PM ET 2009-04-06T20:08:49

Tourism officials in Puerto Rico are welcoming American Eagle's decision to restore dozens of Caribbean flights.

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Tourism company director Jaime Lopez Diaz says the 109 new weekly flights to eight destinations will bring $21 million to Puerto Rico's economy. The flights start May 1.

American Eagle last year cut flights out of San Juan by half amid higher fuel prices and a worsening economy. The cuts were a blow to regional tourism.

Lopez said Monday the new flights bring Puerto Rico nearly back to pre-cutback levels.

American says it restored the flights because Puerto Rico increased efforts to promote itself as a shopping, medical and entertainment destination for people in the Caribbean.

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