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JetBlue adds direct route to New York’s LaGuardia Airport

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 A JetBlue aircraft is parked on the tarmac in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at Hollywood International Airport in December. (Photo/File)Start spreading the news.

JetBlue isn’t quite leaving today, but starting July 1 it will offer daily service between Charleston and New York’s LaGuardia Airport, according to a Charleston International Airport news release.

The new route is part of a code-sharing agreement with American Airlines to increase service from New York City and Boston to several destinations, including Charleston.

Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning at JetBlue, said the alliance is key to returning the company to profitability, putting planes in the air and bringing crew members back to work.

“Our alliance with American opens the door for JetBlue to successfully enter into new markets, introducing more choices and our award-winning service and low fares to more customers,” he said.

Elliott Summey., director of airports for the Charleston County Aviation Authority, called the route is a “win-win” for the Charleston region.

“Giving our passengers options when it comes to their air travel is a top priority for us,” he said. “We believe this announcement will further enhance the business and community needs for air travel.”

The new route is one of several for Charleston. In January, Allegiant announced it would offer nonstop service from Charleston to St. Louis and Louisville, Ky., twice a week starting in May. Silver Airways began nonstop service from Charleston to its hubs in Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in November. Back in December, Southwest also resumed daily flights to between Denver and Charleston.

JetBlue’s new route is yet another signifier of a strong return for the region, according to Helen Hill, CEO of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We recognize airlines are carefully evaluating when and where to commit their assets as they anticipate increased air travel this year,” she said. “JetBlue’s announcement is a vote of confidence in our region’s travel and hospitality industry and great news for residents.”

Since the 2013 start of its operations in Charleston, JetBlue offers flights from Charleston to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International, Boston Logan International, Los Angeles International and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International.

“This is the first step to delivering the best customer proposition with the biggest network in New York and Boston,” American’s Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja said. “In the months ahead, we’ll continue to create a seamless experience that’s easy for our customers, supports our communities, and leads to more growth for our team.”

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