JetBlue Airways to Open Florida Links from Albany

US low-fare carrier JetBlue Airways is to open up two routes to its focus cities in Florida from Albany International Airport before the end of 2015, the eighth airport in New York State that it will serve as it reinforces its claim to be New York’s Hometown Airline.

The carrier will introduce daily services from Albany International Airport to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Orlando International Airport from December 10, 2015 using 150-seat Airbus A320 equipment. Elsewhere in the Empire State, JetBlue serves airports in Buffalo; Newburgh; New York City (LaGuardia and Kennedy); Rochester; Syracuse; and Westchester County.

"JetBlue began with a flight from New York to Florida more than fifteen years ago, and all these years later we're still expanding service between the Empire State and the Sunshine State," said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer and president, JetBlue Airways.

The new flights will bring additional capacity to a popular market from Albany International Airport. The Albany – Orlando route is already served on a year-round basis by Southwest Airlines, while a seasonal offering is also provided by the low-cost carrier between Albany and Fort Lauderdale. US Airways had previously also offered a network link on the route on a short seasonal basis up until 2007.

Alongside supporting the point-to-point demand in and out of Florida, JetBlue’s new links will also provide better connectivity between Albany and markets across the Caribbean and Latin America. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood serves as the airline's gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America and will provide access from Albany to destinations such as Bogotá, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Although Albany is already served by Southwest Airlines and has hub links from American Airlines Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, New York State Senator Charles Schumer describes the arrival of JetBlue as “game-changing” for Albany International and for Capital Region residents who will now have a new option flying in and out of their local airport.

"For more than 15 years now I have worked with JetBlue to bring their service all around the state; first to Buffalo, and then to Syracuse and Rochester, each time with great success. Now, it's Albany's turn,” he said.

"This should increase competition at the airport, increase options for local travellers, and drive down prices for the average flyer. What's more, it will keep more residents in the area flying out of Albany, instead of travelling out-of-state for cheaper flights. It's a win across the board that will reap benefits for Albany International, Capital Region residents, and the region's tourism industry for years to come,” he added.

In our analysis we look more closely at segment demand on Southwest Airlines’ flights between Albany and Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, the latter route being added to its network from late 2008.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…