TALLAHASSEE — JetBlue arrived at Tallahassee International Airport to begin service Thursday morning. The airline is launching service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Tallahassee International Airport (TLH).
“I’m thrilled to celebrate the beginning of JetBlue’s direct, daily service between Florida’s capital city and Fort Lauderdale. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to passengers who enjoy this new air service option at Tallahassee International Airport,” said City of Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey. “Intra-state travel is a driver for our economy and our airport’s partnership with JetBlue provides a convenient connection to and from South Florida that will benefit residents and visitors alike.”
In a news release, JetBlue said with the addition of new air service and major infrastructure projects underway, including the International Processing Facility, TLH is on track to serve one million passengers in 2024.
JetBlue will operate the Tallahassee route using its Airbus A320 aircraft.
When you step to the Tallahassee International Airport there's now new competition for who you fly with.
I’m Shamarria Morrison your Downtown Neighborhood Reporter.
Jet Blue says they are offering connectivity to South Florida and you can see cheaper airfare.
In the observation deck at the Tallahassee International Airport, there’s a crowd of people waiting for the arrival of the inaugural JetBlue flight.
Bethany Barnard and her grandkids are some of them.
"We are a flying family," Barnard said. "My dad was a pilot and I've been flying since I was three. My brother was a pilot for American Airlines. I have another brother who's a private pilot."
While Thursday morning was just an outing for the kids, Barnard knows the JetBlue flight landing represents access to her family.
"I'm not originally from Tallahassee," Barnard said. "I was born up in New England, but I came from South Florida and I still have a sister in South Florida, Fort Lauderdale area. So I've already been texting her back and forth and saying hey JetBlue we can now you know, fly down there like cheaper than you can get you know a tank of gas."
JetBlue will provide daily, nonstop service between Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The airline is considered a low-cost air carrier.
Your Downtown/ Midtown Neighborhood Reporter Shamarria Morrison asked airline executives if people in our neighborhoods will get cheaper fares.
“You are gonna get cheaper fares because JetBlue is in town here in Tallahassee," Robert Land, JetBlue's Head of government affairs and associate general counsel said. "And it's not a million-dollar question. It's a $49 question. You're gonna get low fares nonstop not just to Fort Lauderdale. But the best thing is when we're in town, all the big players all the big legacy airlines with the lesser service and the high fares they match us. So everybody benefits when we come to town."
ABC27 looked up a flight from Tallahassee to Ft. Lauderdale for next month for a roundtrip and Jet Blue was half the price of the other competitors.
Jet Blue coming to Tallahassee was more than a decade in the making.
"One of our goals happens to be to surpass a $1 billion annual economic impact to our community," David Pollard, the City of Tallahassee's director of aviation said. "So yes, an additional airline that brings additional jobs, and all that it stimulates. The airport is the economic generator for your community."
One of the kids from the flying family watching the Jet Blue flight land may have a future job at the airport or the airline.
“I'm not sure about it, but I want to. I really like flying," William Lampinen, the future pilot said, after being asked would he would be flying any JetBlue flights soon.