Schumer: JetBlue Airlines coming to Albany International - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Schumer: JetBlue Airlines coming to Albany International

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Senator Chuck Schumer has announced that JetBlue will be coming to Albany International Airport.

The announcement comes about one month since Schumer joined airport and local officials to call on JetBlue Airlines to establish a first-ever presence in the Capital Region.

The daily service is expected to begin at the airport in 2015. Senator Schumer said because of the Capital Region's growing population, stable job market and demand for a low cost carrier, the city and airline are 'a perfect match.'

"They're going to find, this is a growing area, this is an area where new companies are locating, they're gonna find this a great market. And JetBlue, the people in the Capital Region are really gonna like JetBlue," said Schumer.

For the past six months, Schumer has met with top JetBlue officials on a number of occasions to discuss the possibility of bringing the brand to Albany.

The Senator, who has worked with JetBlue for 15 years, has brought their services to other upstate markets including Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. When each of those cities began its partnership with the carrier, they began started with two daily flights. Not only have those markets seen an increase in travel but a decrease in airfare costs due to competition.

"Albany's been on our radar for a couple of years. So what I can promise you is you have got lower fares you're gonna be looking forward to in Albany, I just can't say what they are yet," said President of JetBlue Robin Hayes.

Steve Ventura, an education consultant from San Luis Obispo, California flies back and forth from the west to the east coast for work. He says competition is a good thing because he feels when there is none, and airlines can charge whatever they want.

"Right now, I'm kind of limited with my choices. Albany doesn't have a lot of options, in terms of where I come in from sometimes and I'd like to see another option so I can take another direct path here, instead of making so many connections. So I'm hoping that's what happens with JetBlue."

Schumer said that Florida will be one of the destinations for the airliner because it is popular for travelers in the area. However, specific routes are not available yet.

President  and CEO of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber, Mark Eagan realizes the proposed destinations are not a priority to the majority of those in the business community at the moment. However, he hopes more competition in Albany will reduce other fairs and that this is just the beginning for JetBlue.

"Years ago, they used to say about the Southwest effect. Well now I think it's safe to say the JetBlue effect is when they come to the market next year, what we're celebrating today isn't just two flights. We hope there will be more flights but what should be right at the beginning is, it's going to help lower the fares on all the carriers," said Egan.

Currently, Southwest Airlines is the primary carrier from Albany International.

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