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JetBlue is set to start daily flights to Fort Lauderdale from Tallahassee in 2024

 JetBlue is coming to Tallahassee in January, 2024
Lynn Hatter
JetBlue is coming to Tallahassee in January, 2024

JetBlue is set to start daily, nonstop flights from Tallahassee to Fort Lauderdale come next year. The low-cost carrier is the first to announce its arrival in Tallahassee since United left in 2021.

The tentative deal comes after more than eight years of talks. Airport director David Pollard said the city and airport expect a final deal with JetBlue to include waiving landing fees, something that's been an issue in the past.

“Some of the things you can expect to see [in a final contract with JetBlue] are facility fees that will be waived for a year, landing fees that might be waived, some marketing assistance and things of that nature," Pollard said. "We’re working to create that business deal that provides them assistance with their initial startup costs.”

JetBlue could start service as soon as January, and Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey believes the partnership will only boost the city's economy.

“They know we’re an emerging market, they know we have one of the fastest growing economies per-capita in the state of Florida," Dailey said when asked why JetBlue chose now to strike a deal with the city.

"We’re nationally and internationally known for our quality of life … it’s a perfect marriage and we welcome them to the family.”

During the past few years, the city has struck deals to bring Amazon to the area and put a new international wing at the airport that can handle customs. A widening of Capital Circle by the airport is also underway.

The city first launched a campaign to court JetBlue in 2015. The airport has struggled to maintain carriers since the early 2000s when a state contract expired, leading to a drastic drop in usage.

Copyright 2023 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.

Lynn Hatter has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.
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