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The Kew Gardens-based airline JetBlue has inaugurated service to Puerto Rico in a move that Gov. George Pataki said had further strengthened links between the people of New York and the Caribbean Commonwealth.
JetBlues new flights between John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Juan are the low-fare airlines first outside the U.S. mainland.
The strong ties that have long existed between the people of New York and Puerto Rico have gotten stronger, Pataki said.
The presence of JetBlue Airways in Puerto Rico is especially important as the airline has combined highly competitive fares with excellent service, said Gov. Sila Maria Calderon of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans who live on the island and visit their families in New York now have a reasonable option for travel which, without a doubt, will serve to reinforce the ties of family and friendship that exist between the two cities. JetBlue's success is our success.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said one of the most important issues facing the Puerto Rican community in New York is being able to get to San Juan and back without paying through the roof.
He pointed out that when hen we asked JetBlue to begin serving San Juan, they came through.
Pataki, Schumer and U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), were among those who took part in a ceremony at JFK Friday announcing the new flights.
JetBlues regular low fares on the route range from $129 to $299 each way, which the airline said were up to 52 percent lower than equivalent fares of other airlines serving the route nonstop from New York.
The Puerto Rico service began May 30 with three daily flights in each direction.
JetBlue offered an introductory sale fare of $99 each way which had to be booked by June 5.
Since it began service Feb. 11, 2000, JetBlue has served more than 6 million passengers using a fleet of 25 new Airbus A320 jetliners. The airline is scheduled to take delivery of another 11 A320 jets by the end of this year.
On Sept. 6, JetBlue plans to add nine daily flights between Long Beach and Oakland, Calif. and on Oct. 10, six daily flights between Long Beach and Las Vegas, one daily flight between Long Beach and Salt Lake City and a fifth flight between Long Beach and JFK.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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