JetBlue flights to New York City begin next year

Posted at: 11/14/2012 9:55 PM
Updated at: 11/14/2012 10:13 PM
By: Maria Guererro, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Another low-cost airline is coming to the Albuquerque Sunport.

JetBlue will start offering the only non-stop, year-round service to and from New York City.

After months of conversations, Mayor Richard Berry made the announcement during his State of the City address today.

Berry is touting this as a major development for business and tourism in the state.

A new airline will be taking off from the Sunport bound for New York City, starting April 22, 2013.

JetBlue, the Big Apple’s hometown airline is known for low fares and free TV.

It’s also a direct competitor for Southwest Airlines.

"I think it's great news,” said Michael Miller of Rio Grande Travel. “Competition is always good for consumers. It puts Albuquerque a little bit more on the map in the airline industry."

Miller, president of Rio Grande Travel, points out JetBlue’s non-stop flights to and from JFK Airport will be red-eye flights; mostly used by business travelers.

"I don't think we're going to have a lot of leisure travelers who are going to want to take a red eye to New York. But who knows. Maybe," said Miller.

The last non-stop flight from Albuquerque into the New York area was to Newark in 2008.

"There were business travelers who used it. I mean I wouldn't say a lot because they ultimately cancelled the flight,” explained Miller. “So JetBlue has a completely different model than the U.S. Flag carriers, the larger carries, so it's possible they could make a go of it."

And if all goes well, Miller said you could see even more JetBlue departures and arrivals popping up at the Sunport.

"Then it's going to bring costs down. They have to compete. Competition's great," said Miller.

"More access to more places, making it easier for business travels is going to be good I think for folks who want to do business here or want to do business in those places so yeah, I think that would be an improvement," said traveler Jim Kapsis.

The first flight out of Albuquerque’s Sunport will be on April 22, 2013 at 11:55 p.m.