In my last column, we wrote about how the City of Worcester should hire Louis Tiant and work with Congressman McGovern and Massport, after JetBlue had failed to get daily flights out of Boston to Havana.
Since that time we have learned that JetBlue has not given up and has asked the US Department of Transportation to reconsider its decision to deny Boston, and all of New England, a direct commercial flight to Havana. Instead of the daily flights in their initial applications, however, they are asking for at least one weekly flight.
Why not Worcester to Havana, instead of Boston??? Retain El Tiante and have him work with the Congressman McGovern and Massport to get this one flight to Cuba for JetBlue out of Worcester. This actually makes even more sense in light of JetBlue’s 2nd quarter earning conference call and this from JetBlue CEO, Robin Hayes:
We are thrilled to announce our intention to further expand our successful Mint experience by amending our Airbus purchase agreement adding 30, A321 incremental aircraft, which is scheduled to deliver between 2017 and 2023. We anticipate the first 15, which are A321ceos will be configured in Mint. The remaining 15 A321neos can be configured in Mint or in high density. Starting in 2019, we will have the option to convert any A321neos to the Longer Range or LR version.
This enhanced airplane type could will be a game changer for us and provide us the ability to start JetBlue flights to Europe from other East Coast focused cities, should we chose to do so.
Did you hear that?? JetBlue flight to Europe from the East Coast!! Ok, we are not a focus city but maybe if we were to establish a Worcester to Havana as a successful flight then JetBlue may consider Worcester for Europe flights?
We need to stop feeling that ORH can not compete for a flight like Havana and start selling the benefits of our airport:
Short check in lines
Short TSA lines
$42 per week parking rates
If you had two families that lived in Newton, Mass and one left for Logan and the other left for Worcester at the same time. The family that left for Worcester would be at their gate in less time then the family that left for Boston with less stress and less out-of-pocket expenses.
Cuba and Europe, let’s go for it. Instead of waiting for JetBlue to make an announcement for additional Florida destination, or San Juan, to compliment the existing service to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, lets aggressively market the benefits of Worcester to Havana and Europe.
If we fail???
We would only be furthering the image of Worcester and help sell more tickets to our existing routes, by trying to get Havana or Europe. Our point is that instead of sitting around waiting, let’s start improving our image now. Who knows, maybe we would be successful, especially if we were to get Tiant and Congressman McGovern working with Massport and JetBlue to secure a Cuba route out of Worcester.