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Jet Blue Celebrates Inaugural Flights

Landing Monday morning to a water cannon salute at Cyril E. King Airport, Jet Blue’s inaugural flight to the U.S. Virgin Islands was a “welcome sight,” according to officials from the Tourism Department.

“This is exciting new air service that comes at a time when we’re looking forward to welcoming a greater number of travelers from Puerto Rico and beyond,” Assistant Tourism Commissioner Monique Sibilly-Hodge said to Jet Blue representatives at Monday’s inaugural ceremonies.

“Our hospitality industry has been eagerly awaiting your arrival. Your passengers will find that our hotels, resorts, attractions, and stores are ready to welcome you, and we are committed to a continued partnership that will help boost our economic development here in the territory,” Sibilly-Hodge added.

Passengers aboard Jet Blue’s first flight paid only $10 for the trip to St. Thomas Monday, and officials said it was just the beginning of a variety of deals the airline will be offering to passengers. The announcement of Jet Blue’s service to Puerto Rico comes at a time when the fate of American Eagle, which runs daily between the two territories, is still uncertain.

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According to Brandon Nelson, Jet Blue’s vice president and associate general counsel, the airline will be offering twice daily flights from St. Thomas to San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, and a once daily flight from St. Croix. Passengers will be able to book a round trip for $39 each way until Dec. 31, for travel between Jan. 5 and Feb. 15, 2012.

Seasonal service to Boston’s Logan International Airport will also be offered starting Dec. 15, with at least five weekly departures on the southbound flight, and through San Juan on the northbound flight, Nelson said.

Speaking about the features Jet Blue offers – including more leg room and comfortable seats – Nelson also said that Jet Blue’s 14,000 customer friendly employees will also have a hand in giving passengers a taste of the “best product in the industry.”

Jet Blue’s Embraer 190 aircraft (E190) will operate from San Juan, while flights to Boston will be made with the company’s Airbus A320 fleet.

With the addition of St. Thomas and St. Croix to the schedule, Jet Blue now has 70 destinations across the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Nelson said.

Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis also spoke about the importance of bringing Jet Blue to St. Croix, especially during the ongoing Festival season.

“The addition of these flights is tremendously important, as they represent the addition of more than 88,000 seats to the territory annually,” he said. “This new service will have a positive and wide spread benefit, first in terms of the impact on the tourism industry and the increased potential for visitors to the territory, and second because of the revenue that will be realized by our hotels, stores and businesses.”

Francis said Jet Blue also welcomed its first flight to St. Croix Monday. Passengers on the tarmac on both islands were given a warm Caribbean welcome, as dancing mocko jumbies and steel pan players greeted them right off the plane.

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Landing Monday morning to a water cannon salute at Cyril E. King Airport, Jet Blue’s inaugural flight to the U.S. Virgin Islands was a “welcome sight,” according to officials from the Tourism Department.

“This is exciting new air service that comes at a time when we’re looking forward to welcoming a greater number of travelers from Puerto Rico and beyond,” Assistant Tourism Commissioner Monique Sibilly-Hodge said to Jet Blue representatives at Monday’s inaugural ceremonies.

“Our hospitality industry has been eagerly awaiting your arrival. Your passengers will find that our hotels, resorts, attractions, and stores are ready to welcome you, and we are committed to a continued partnership that will help boost our economic development here in the territory,” Sibilly-Hodge added.

Passengers aboard Jet Blue’s first flight paid only $10 for the trip to St. Thomas Monday, and officials said it was just the beginning of a variety of deals the airline will be offering to passengers. The announcement of Jet Blue’s service to Puerto Rico comes at a time when the fate of American Eagle, which runs daily between the two territories, is still uncertain.

According to Brandon Nelson, Jet Blue’s vice president and associate general counsel, the airline will be offering twice daily flights from St. Thomas to San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, and a once daily flight from St. Croix. Passengers will be able to book a round trip for $39 each way until Dec. 31, for travel between Jan. 5 and Feb. 15, 2012.

Seasonal service to Boston’s Logan International Airport will also be offered starting Dec. 15, with at least five weekly departures on the southbound flight, and through San Juan on the northbound flight, Nelson said.

Speaking about the features Jet Blue offers – including more leg room and comfortable seats – Nelson also said that Jet Blue’s 14,000 customer friendly employees will also have a hand in giving passengers a taste of the “best product in the industry.”

Jet Blue’s Embraer 190 aircraft (E190) will operate from San Juan, while flights to Boston will be made with the company’s Airbus A320 fleet.

With the addition of St. Thomas and St. Croix to the schedule, Jet Blue now has 70 destinations across the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Nelson said.

Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis also spoke about the importance of bringing Jet Blue to St. Croix, especially during the ongoing Festival season.

“The addition of these flights is tremendously important, as they represent the addition of more than 88,000 seats to the territory annually,” he said. “This new service will have a positive and wide spread benefit, first in terms of the impact on the tourism industry and the increased potential for visitors to the territory, and second because of the revenue that will be realized by our hotels, stores and businesses.”

Francis said Jet Blue also welcomed its first flight to St. Croix Monday. Passengers on the tarmac on both islands were given a warm Caribbean welcome, as dancing mocko jumbies and steel pan players greeted them right off the plane.