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JetBlue to begin flights to major cities in Florida



21 July, 2005: New York-based low-cost Airlines JetBlue will begin its flights to major cities in Florida including Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers in October. The flights would be operated from Newark's Liberty International Airport, and the airline intends to keep the fares as low as $69 for a one-way ticket between Newark and Florida cities.

The new flights are being mulled for the company’s new expansion programme, and this expansion is a natural progression, a spokesperson said.

The expansion process includes plans for acquisition of a 100,000 square-foot hangar, which will hold up to three jetliners. The hangar would also be equipped with automated parts retrieval and storage system costing about $46 million at JFK International airport.

The spokesperson also said that airline plans to buy 100-seater jets from Brazil's Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautico, the fourth-biggest plane-maker. The carrier would commence operations on these flights with in a month.

This expansion programme would enable the company to add another 77 daily flights to Florida, increasing its total number of flights to 314 per day, serving 32 destinations across 13 states. 

JetBlue would also begin flights from Newark to San Juan, Puerto Rico in November.

Meanwhile, Houston-based Continental Airlines, a close competitor of JetBlue, matched the rates with JetBlue on these routes. The carrier has also announced plans to add eight daily flights from October 1, 2005.

Continental Airlines operates huge hubs and controls 70 per cent of Air traffic and is New York region's top airline in terms of domestic passengers.

JetBlue's discounted rates has made it to become the only low-fare carrier with service from all three New York City airports after announcing plans to begin operating from Newark Liberty. This is the latest sign that low-fare carriers are penetrating even the largest and most established air markets.

JetBlue CEO David Neeleman said that its new service would “liberate Newark”, one of the country's most expensive airports, averaging to around 27 per cent higher than other comparable US airports.

JetBlue, which began flying in 2000, now entered into direct competition with Continental Airlines and Delta, which operates nonstop flights between Newark and Florida.



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