FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2008
Schumer Announces Jetblue To Consider Expanding Service At Stewart Airport Following Airtran's Departure
In Personal Phone Call, Schumer Secures Commitment From JetBlue CEO To Remain at Regional Airport and to Consider Filling the Gaps Left Behind By AirTran
Schumer Has Led The Charge To Bring JetBlue To Upstate New York; Since 2001, Schumer Pushed JetBlue To Bring Its Cheap Fares And Frequent Service to Stewart
Schumer: JetBlue and Stewart Airport Remain A Perfect Fit
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that JetBlue will consider expanding its service at Stewart Airport following news that AirTran will no longer service the regional airport. In a personal call to JetBlue CEO Dave Barger, Senator Schumer secured a commitment to remain at Stewart Airport and to begin looking into how to fill the gaps left behind by AirTran’s departure.
“JetBlue and Stewart International Airport have been a perfect fit from the get-go. I am thrilled that JetBlue has reaffirmed its commitment to Stewart and agreed to consider expanding its low-cost air service so that we can start filling the gaps created by departing airlines,” Schumer said. “JetBlue’s continued commitment to Stewart Airport is critical to providing reliable and affordable options to Hudson Valley travelers.”
Last week, AirTran said it would stop servicing Stewart International Airport in September due to losses caused by high fuel costs. AirTran and JetBlue are the two main carriers at Stewart International Airport. AirTran had flights to Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida and will stop operations in the Hudson Valley on September 3.
To ensure low-cost airfares remain in the Hudson Valley area, Senator Schumer personally called JetBlue CEO Dave Barger to urge the airline to consider expanding its service to fill the gaps created by AirTran’s departure from Stewart International Airport. Senator Schumer also secured JetBlue’s commitment to continue servicing the airport.
Schumer was instrumental in bringing JetBlue airlines to Stewart International Airport. In 2001, Schumer first initiated conversations to bring JetBlue’s cheap fares and frequent service to Stewart Airport. In December 2004, Schumer set up a meeting between top JetBlue executives and Stewart President Chuck Seliga which ultimately led to JetBlue’s commitment to locate at Stewart International Airport in 2005. That year, Schumer announced that JetBlue would begin new service from Stewart International Airport to two new destinations, increasing to three by January 2006 and expanding further in the future. Currently, JetBlue provides regular service to Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, West Palm Beach, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Hudson Valley residents deserve to fly the friendly skies at a cheap rate and I am thrilled that JetBlue is committed to remain at Stewart International Airport. JetBlue will continue to be an economic shot in the arm for the Hudson Valley region, bringing affordable airfares, new visitors and new business,” said Schumer.
Schumer has worked with airlines to improve air service to upstate New York and the Hudson Valley since he was first elected to the Senate. In addition to bringing JetBlue service to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo within its first 18 months of its startup, he was also instrumental in bringing JetBlue to Stewart Airport.