Today’s news:

JetBlue to add Atlanta to list of cities served

The Forest Hills-based airline JetBlue has announced it is adding Atlanta to its flight schedule, new service between the West Coast and Florida and two more new jetliners to its fleet.

The low-fare airline said it would operate three flights daily between Long Beach, Calif. and Atlanta as well as connecting service to Atlanta from Oakland and Las Vegas via Long Beach beginning May 8.

“It’s been more than a decade since there has been low-fare competition on the LA-Atlanta route,” said David Neeleman, JetBlue chief executive officer. “We’re looking forward to introducing Georgia travelers to the ease, simplicity and accessibility of Long Beach Airport. Once they try Long Beach, they won’t want to fly to LAX again.”

Long Beach airport is 19 miles south of Los Angeles International airport.

JetBlue also announced new flights between Southern California and South Florida with new daily service between its West Coast base at Long Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

The airline said it has ordered two new Airbus A320 jets to be delivered by the end of the year to bring to 52 the number of A320s in JetBlue’s fleet.

JetBlue’s airliners are equipped with leather seats and television at every seat.

At a time of financial distress in the airline industry, JetBlue has consistently turned a profit, extended its routes and added planes. It was one of the few airlines that did not lay off personnel after the World Trade Center attacks. The airline went public with its stock last fall.

JetBlue said its traffic increased by 93 percent last month compared with January 2002.

JetBlue, which began flying in February 2000, has its corporate headquarters in Forest Hills and its flight center at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

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