Today’s news:

JetBlue starts Atlanta to L.A. flight service

JetBlue Airways, the Forest Hills-based low-fare carrier, has begun flights between its West Coast base at Long Beach, Calif. and Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The airline, which has continued to expand its routes and make money at a time of financial distress in the airline industry, also announced its passenger traffic last month increased nearly 81 percent over April 2002.

JetBlue now provides three daily flights between Atlanta and Long Beach and a daily nonstop flight between Fort Lauderdale and Long Beach.

“JetBlue’s new service from Atlanta to Long Beach is the first time in more than a decade there has been competition on the Atlanta-LA route,” said Dave Barger, president. “As our customers in Long Beach and the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area know, we have the friendliest crews in the business.”

The airline already had flights from Long Beach and New York, Washington, D.C., Oakland, Calif., Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

On June 26 JetBlue plans to begin a seventh daily flight between Long Beach, 19 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

It also plans to start service this summer between JFK and San Diego.

From JFK, the airline operates 164 flights a day and serves 20 destinations in nine states and Puerto Rico.

JetBlue flies a fleet of 41 Airbus A320 jetliners equipped with leather seats and satellite television at every seat and is scheduled to take delivery of another 12 A320s by the end of this year. At JetBlue, all fares are one-way, travel is ticketless and all seats are assigned.

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