JetBlue Announces Daily, Nonstop Air Service to Charleston International Airport

For Immediate Release, September 2012


CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: WHERE THE SKY IS BLUE 365 DAYS A YEAR
JetBlue Announces Daily, Nonstop Air Service to Charleston International Airport

CHARLESTON, S.C. (September 12, 2012) — The sky over the Charleston area will be blue regardless of weather beginning February 28, 2013, when JetBlue begins daily nonstop air service from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport to Charleston International Airport.

“Welcoming JetBlue to the Charleston area is a huge contribution toward future economic growth,” says S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell, who credits the cooperative efforts of the Charleston International Airport, Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Charleston Regional Development Alliance and Charleston Metro Chamber with landing the new air service.

“Already, 2012 is a record year for local tourism and hospitality industries thanks to achievements such as winning top awards from both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as well as hosting the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort,” says Harrell, who co-chaired the PGA Champions Committee for the tournament.

JetBlue plans to operate three flights per day with two to John F. Kennedy International Airport and one to Boston’s Logan International Airport, which will bring more than 100,000 additional seats to the Charleston area every year.

“The great economic development news continues to pour from the Charleston area,” says S.C. State Representative and Charleston County Aviation Authority Chairman Chip Limehouse. “Everyday, we become more and more of a business driver for the Charleston region.”

Throughout 2011, the top origination airport for flights to Charleston International Airport was New York’s LaGuardia, so when a shake-up earlier this year resulted in a net loss of one daily flight (100 seats) between the two airports, the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau redoubled efforts to attract JetBlue.

“At stake was a potentially serious impact on visitor share,” says Wild Dunes Resort Managing Director and Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Chairman Frank Fredericks. “Being an easily accessible destination is central to offering a quality, positive visitor experience, so it was imperative we attract new air service. Fortunately, our goals aligned with those of JetBlue.”

“The people at JetBlue certainly understood what a decrease in air service could mean to a destination of our size from an economic standpoint,” says Fredericks. “They took it upon themselves to embrace the character and charms of Charleston. Working with them became a really gratifying experience.”

Although not currently linked by direct, nonstop air service, Boston’s Logan International Airport ranked eighth for flight originations to Charleston International Airport in 2011.

“There are great similarities between Boston and Charleston,” says City of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. “Thanks to JetBlue’s new service, our residents will have the wonderful opportunity to discover another colonial port city with rich history and vibrant culture. Likewise, we look forward to welcoming our new friends from New England with the new nonstop flight.”

“Giving people ample opportunity to visit is imperative to the viability and vitality of our region,” says City of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. “We’re experiencing a time of great growth and forward momentum, especially with the expansion of Boeing’s operations on the horizon. New air service will lead to an increase in visitors but also the business development prospects in the hopper. We have a competitive edge when it comes to attracting industry, and now it will be a little easier for heads of industry to get here.”

“Part of the Lowcountry’s allure is the lifestyle,” says Town of Mt. Pleasant Bill Swails. “We savor a quality of life that is really special, and we enjoy sharing it with visitors from all over the world. Likewise, the JetBlue experience offers something special to travelers. That’s how we know it will be a successful and positive partnership between the airline and our airport.”

JetBlue and Charleston are "a logical fit" according to Joel Antolini, Senior Vice President of Seabury Airline Planning Group, the airline planning and consultancy group based in Washington, D.C. that worked closely with representatives of Charleston and JetBlue.

"As always, Scott Laurence and his team were great to work with in the market exploration process,” says Antolini of JetBlue’s Vice President of Network Planning. “When we laid the story out to them, they quickly grasped the power and benefits of combining two premier brands like Charleston and JetBlue."

Beginning in 2006, J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction Study (SM) has annually awarded JetBlue its highest honors in airline customer satisfaction among low-cost carriers. The first U.S. low-fare airline to operate a fleet of brand new aircraft, JetBlue will service Charleston with the E190, which is equipped with 100 leather seats, all of which offer individual seatback monitors with 36 channels of DIRECTV® programming and more than 100 channels of XM Satellite Radio®.

As of today, JetBlue services 71 airports, including 23 destinations outside the 48 contiguous United States. JetBlue currently offers nonstop flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport to 46 destinations, including Aruba, Bermuda and California—an increase in connectivity for outbound passengers from Charleston International Airport.

“What a wonderful day for the citizens of the Charleston area,” says Chairman of County Council Teddie Pryor, Sr. “Having two low-cost carriers will benefit our residents every bit as much as it does the business community. JetBlue is known for offering quirky deals and special packages, and the company produces really clever ads. We look forward to seeing that first vivid blue plane enter our local airspace!”

The mission of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area as an individual, meeting, incentive and group destination to both the domestic and international markets.

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Editor’s Note: Accompanying digital images and interviews available upon request.

For more information, contact the CVB Media Department at media@explorecharleston.com or (843) 853-8000.

@explorechs