Last Wednesday, I attended the Blackstone Valley Chamber breakfast where Tom Glynn, Massport CEO and Executive Director, was the keynote speaker at Pleasant Valley. He started by reviewing JetBlue’s performance since their first flight on November
Although JetBlue looks at this as a two-year plan, the first two months has exceeded expectations with over 20,000 passengers, many full flights, and loads of over 80%.
Massport’s strategy moving forward with ORH is simple: grow with JetBlue.
The first priority seems to be to replace the 100-seat Embraer 190 with the more efficient 150-seat Airbus 320. Before more destinations, we will most likely see more flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale while emphasizing the ability to make connections from these locations. If there was to be a new destination, it looks like it would be San Juan.
Are any other airlines coming to ORH? Massport is constantly talking to airlines and airlines are watching JetBlue’s numbers at Worcester. The success of JetBlue will help convince other airlines to commit to ORH. In the short term, we will see the Airbus, more flights to Fort Lauderdale/Orlando or maybe San Juan as a destination with JetBlue, before we have another airline.
Massport also continues to make much needed capital improvements, which the City of Worcester never could have afforded. The #1 priority is the commitment to Cat III landing capabilities. This will, however, take 2-3 years to complete. In the meantime, the landing system will be upgraded to Cat II.
A community affair
Between the meeting two weeks ago with the Latino Community at the Beechwood and this meeting, Massport is making the commitment at grassroots level to make ORH a success. Going forward, the plan is very simple. Grow with JetBlue
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