Jet Blue WIll Start Flying from Savannah - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Jet Blue WIll Start Flying from Savannah

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Its been Savannah's personal white whale, only this one has wings.

But finally, after years of rumors and negotiations, JetBlue planes will start winging their way from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport to New York City.  

Flights don't start until February 13, but the excitement from travelers and officials has already begun.

"A first class city deserves 1st class affordable airfares," explains Sylvester Formey.

And according to Savannah Airport Chairman Sylvester Formey, Jet Blue is giving folks a first class option at a good price.

"We lost approximately 20% of our travelers to Jacksonville and Brunswick and Charleston because of the absence of a low cost carrier," explains Formey.

That was then, this is now.

Formey says the number of travelers is up about 3-4% this year. That makes it the perfect time for JetBlue to come calling. Even the other airlines are welcoming the competition.

"As one of my folks from Delta mentioned the other day, they are sort of happy about it too," smiles Formey. "Because it creates a buzz, driving business. They will beat our doors trying to get tickets I hope."

But will they? Travelers we talked say even two flights a day is a step in the right direction.

"It would mean a lot," said Elliott Opel, who just came back from New York. "Probably mean I'd think about going other places, especially with direct flights."

"You actually travel all the way to Charleston to add a flight?"
"Yeah, its about an hour 40 minutes for us from Bluffton," said Frank Ambrosio. "It takes a while to get there. Its worth it because of the savings. Its like 1/2 the price of Savannah."

Frank says he'll now drop his bags in Savannah instead. That's a trend airport officials hope is the ticket to big business..
"I think Jet Blue wants to see is Savannah and the Lowcountry are ready for them by flying," said Formey.

In the last 5 years, both Allegiant Airlines and AirTran came to Savannah, and then left.  

News 3 asked Formey why this time would be different.  

He said it's about timing.  

The demand for travel had slowed thanks to the recession when AirTran departed.  Now the area has grown, and so has the number of travelers.

JetBlue flights from Savannah start February 13. There will two flights each way, and an introductory price of $79 each way for the first few weeks.

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