Massport Wins $350K Grant For JetBlue Growth in Worcester
Monday, September 30, 2013
The grant, announced on Friday, is part of an overall proposed package of $1.17 million, and would be targeted toward raising awareness of JetBlue's new service among local passengers, as well as visitors from Central and South Florida, as well as ensuring long-term sustainability of airline services out of ORH.
The US Department of Transportation announced the Worcester was granted one of 25 grants under the Small Community Air Service Development Program (Small Community Program) benefitting communities in 22 states "to assist with the implementation of the air service initiatives proposed in their grant applications."
According to the documentation released on Friday, Worcester's proposed project "aligns with the local contribution, public-private partnership, and material benefits priority criteria because the community is contributing 37.5% towards the project, has an established public-private partnership with funding from the State and local governments, and the community currently does not have air service. In addition, the project aligns with the secondary criteria as the community has a letter of support from JetBlue."
JetBlue + ORH
Starting November 7, JetBlue will begin its service out of Worcester Regional Airport (ORH) to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in Florida. If the route is successful, JetBlue intends to add services directly to other top Florida destinations and connecting hubs at New York JFK and San Juan. A New York JFK service would connect with up to 56 destinations, while a San Juan route would up to six destinations in the Caribbean.
The proposed package Massport and JetBlue has created is intended to assure the success of these initial routes to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in order to make room for this expansion in the future. They hope Worcester and other area residents are made aware of the JetBlue service and these exciting future possibilities and help contribute its success by supporting these two routes. The application itself (linked above) provides insight as to the direction Massport and JetBlue foresee at Worcester Regional.
In addition to the FAA Grant, the package will receive $300,000 from the state and local community, $150,000 from Massport, $349,003 from an airport fee waiver and $20,000 from JetBlue CEO Dave Barger.
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