JetBlue announces Worcester-to-Florida service
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- JetBlue and Massachusetts officials announced the airline will begin daily flights between Worcester Regional Airport and Florida starting Nov. 7.
“Worcester is JetBlue’s 80th blue city,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue CEO.
A JetBlue aircraft flew to the airport and the crew was met by a marching band and state leaders for Wednesday’s announcement.
“I love the smell of JetBlue jet engines in the morning,” said Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien. “Smells like victory.”
In the past, Worcester’s airport has struggled to get off the ground. But this time Gov. Deval Patrick said it’s different.
“JetBlue has made a very reasoned decision based certainly in part on the warmth of the welcome, but also on their numbers and looking at the size of the market and the opportunity and they decided to invest here,” said Patrick.
The airport hasn’t had commercial passenger service since Direct Air filed for bankruptcy last year. The airport is scheduled to lose its air traffic controllers due to budget cuts.
“That will not be an impediment for what JetBlue tends to do at the moment, but we are working very closely with the FAA,” said MassPort Aviation Director Ed Freni.
JetBlue could be just the ticket the city needs to boost its economy. The low-cost airline has dozens of destinations in 21 states. JetBlue will offer two daily flights from Worcester, one to Orlando and one to Ft. Lauderdale, starting Nov. 7 on a 100-seat aircraft.
“This is a world-class, first-class airline,” said Lt. Gov. Tim Murray.
MassPort is giving JetBlue a $275,000 break on airport fees and charges for two years, and $150,000 worth of free marketing.
Although flights don’t start until November, customers can start booking flights now. As an incentive, it will only cost $60 for a one-way ticket to go to Orlando or Ft. Lauderdale.