updated 6/17/2011 11:28:56 AM ET 2011-06-17T15:28:56

JetBlue Airways says it has become the largest carrier in Puerto Rico, surpassing American Airlines.

JetBlue said it has secured the top spot as it announced new flights to the U.S. Virgin Islands starting Dec. 15. The airline says it grew 38 percent in Puerto Rico over the past year and has an average of 35 per day from the island.

Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuno said at a news conference Thursday that JetBlue will be bringing an additional 100,000 passengers per year to the island. He said it injected about $50 million into the local economy.

American Airlines had been the main carrier but has shifted flights to Miami in recent years. The company did not comment on JetBlue's announcement.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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