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Massport, JetBlue Launch Inaugural Flight to New York City from Worcester

Connecting Worcester to over 50 countries 

WORCESTER – The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and JetBlue Airways today celebrated the beginning of nonstop Worcester to New York City service as the inaugural flight left Worcester Regional Airport (ORH) earlier this morning. The flight will run seven times a week from ORH to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). More than 70 airlines operate out of JFK and passengers can connect to more than 95 international destinations in over 50 countries.

JetBlue currently has daily flights from ORH to Orlando International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. In its first year, both Florida services attracted more than 110,000 passengers. JetBlue began at ORH in 2013, as the first commercial airline to have service there since Massport took over the facility in 2010. Yesterday, Massport joined local elected officials and community members to celebrate more than 500,000 passengers being served by JetBlue at ORH since their flights began in 2013. Massport hosted a Runway Relay 5K on one of ORH’s runways. This is the third year in a row Massport, Lt. Governor Polito and the Worcester community has taken part in a friendly competition.

“The Worcester Regional Airport and Massport have played a vital role in our administration's efforts to improve infrastructure assets and promote economic development across the Commonwealth," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "Governor Baker and I are excited to celebrate the launch of this new service between ORH and JFK and look forward to its impact on the Central Massachusetts economy."

JFK is JetBlue’s busiest hub, currently offering up to 175 daily departures to 65 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. JetBlue operates from JFK’s Terminal 5, and in 2014, opened T5i, which added new gates and customs and immigration capabilities to the terminal.

“We are thrilled to give our Worcester customers even more options to enjoy the JetBlue experience,” said Jeff Goodell, vice president, government and airport affairs, JetBlue. “Through these new flights, we highlight our commitment to offering the Worcester community an award-winning travel experience at competitive fares.”

Massport recently announced the launch of the Category III instrument landing system as well as a parallel taxiway and other improvements at ORH. Both are needed for the long-term growth of the facility and to make a safe facility even safer and provide a greater level of service to its customers and air carriers. The CAT III system allows for landings in near zero visibility weather conditions when the visibility conditions are below the current ceiling height of 200 feet and less than 1,800-foot runway visibility. Before, pilots had to divert to other airports for landings when the conditions are below those visibility requirements. The system is operated and maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Congressman Jim McGovern (D- MA) has been a great advocate for ORH over the years. He was a key player in moving the CAT III project forward by securing resources and support within the federal government to bring the project to fruition. In 2012, Congressman McGovern also hosted a visit to Worcester and the airport by then U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, further demonstrating his commitment to the providing the highest level of service for the airport and the region.

“JetBlue’s new nonstop service from Worcester Regional Airport to New York City is a huge victory for Central Massachusetts and everyone who has worked to make it possible,” said Congressman Jim McGovern. “Bringing federal funding back to Massachusetts to support Worcester Airport has been one of my top priorities and its continued growth and success is a powerful reminder of the incredible potential our region has. With this new JetBlue flight to New York, Worcester residents will have more travel options and we will be able to attract even more businesses looking to invest in our region and create new jobs here. I am proud to have strong partners like Massport and look forward to building on this exciting milestone as Worcester Airport continues to grow and strengthen our region’s economy in the years ahead.”

“The investments we have made in Worcester Regional Airport over the past five years and the unwavering support of the Central Massachusetts community made this day possible,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “JetBlue has been a great partner for Worcester and we are thrilled with the successful launch of this new service. We look forward to providing our customers with even more options for travel – both business and leisure.”

Conveniently located in the heart of Central Massachusetts, ORH offers a modern, spacious terminal, easy curbside drop-off and pick-up, free WiFi, full service food and beverage, and $7 daily or $42 weekly parking.  ORH was constructed in 1944 on top of two hills and spanning the Lynde Brook valley. 

“Congratulations to Massport and JetBlue for making this inaugural flight possible today,” said Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty. “This new flight from Worcester to New York City is a great sign of the continued growth our region is experiencing, and we are thrilled to see the number of travel options increasing in Central Massachusetts.”

In addition, last month, American Airlines, the largest airline in the world, announced plans to operate daily service between Worcester and Philadelphia beginning this October; which will connect Central Massachusetts to one of the largest airline hubs in the country and dozens of domestic and international destinations.

“Today is a great day for Worcester and Central Massachusetts and we thank Massport and JetBlue for their hard work to make this a reality,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “Massport’s continued investment in improving Worcester Regional Airport has shown its strong commitment to the future of the region, and we are excited about this new option for travelers.”

Worcester Regional Airport serves Worcester County, the second fastest growing county in Massachusetts, along with the Boston Metro West region and the bustling Interstate 495 corridor. A Massachusetts Department of Transportation economic impact study found that Worcester Regional Airport contributes $51.5 million to the regional economy.