Flights to San Juan might be next Stewart addition
By Michael Randall
Published: 2:00 AM – 09/17/10
STEWART AIRPORT — San Juan, Puerto Rico, might be the next new destination served by Stewart International Airport.
Susan Baer, the Port Authority’s aviation director, said JetBlue President and CEO David Barger thinks flights to San Juan would be successful.
Baer, at Stewart earlier this week to announce charter flights to Cancun coming in February, also said JetBlue is looking at adding flights to the Florida cities it already serves out of Stewart.
And Barger himself said the airline is evaluating flights from Stewart to San Juan. That statement came in an interview with the Journal News of White Plains, during a visit to Westchester County Airport earlier this month.
JetBlue spokesman Mateo Lleras downplayed the prospect of any new service.
“We are always looking for new opportunities,” Lleras said. “But we have nothing official to announce at this point.”
Local travel agents, though, say flights to Puerto Rico would likely sell well.
“There’s a good demand for flights to Puerto Rico, especially during the high season from mid-December to April,” said Herman Fairweather, owner of Fairweather Travel Services in Middletown.
Deanna Tracey, owner of CDT Travel in the Town of Newburgh, also has clients looking for flights to Puerto Rico, although she said Jamaica is an even more popular Caribbean vacation destination. One advantage to Puerto Rico is that you don’t need a passport to go there, Tracey said.
Tracey and Fairweather are both excited about the Cancun flights that will depart weekly from Feb. 12 to April 23; they predicted high demand for those trips.
Colleen Gillette, president of New Paltz Travel, said flights to Puerto Rico would be a “gateway” to travelers seeking to get to some smaller, less accessible Caribbean islands.
Tracey also likes the idea of JetBlue adding to its once-daily flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.
“Those flights are always packed,” she said.
When JetBlue first came to Stewart in December 2006, it offered twice-daily flights to both cities, but cut back during the economic slump that hit all airlines in 2008.
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