Posted at: 04/21/2013 11:22 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A big change in how New Mexicans get to New York starts Monday.
JetBlue will begin direct flights to and from the Big Apple out of the Albuquerque International Sunport.
Locals hope this flight will also have an economic impact for the state.
“What we really need to do is let New York know what we have to offer,” said Robert Livingston.
New Mexico’s tourism department plans to do just that.
They’ll stock the JetBlue flights with New Mexico Magazine to show off the state.
“We got a great baseball team, a great basketball team, hopefully a good football team, great hotels, great golf,” said Livingston.
A spokesperson with the Sunport told KOB Eyewitness News thousands of dollars have been spent in New York to market New Mexico.
“We’re definitely looking at the traffic both ways but really what’s going to pay the bills on this route are folks coming from New York to New Mexico,” said Daniel Jiron with the Sunport.
The City of Albuquerque hopes the flight will also add a boost in the local convention business.
“I have family and friends and I’m hoping they’ll come visit more often. It’ll be more convenient,” said Janie Keene, who is originally from New York.
The Sunport noticed there were about 200 to 300 people a day flying to New York City and now they’ve looking at an even bigger jump in numbers.
“A lot of times the city may lose out on some convention business because there isn’t that convenient non-stop flight,” said Jiron.
The airport is also looking at adding direct flights to Charlotte and San Jose.