WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) -- JetBlue is expanding its service in Connecticut by adding four new nonstop routes to the west coast and Mexico.

The airline said it will soon offer nonstop flights from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Cancun, Mexico.

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Service to Cancun will begin Nov. 19, and service to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco begins Dec. 18.

“We are excited to roll out these new routes connecting Hartford to some of our largest leisure destinations, bringing more low fares and great service to Connecticut residents,” said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning, JetBlue. “We are proud to play our part in support of Gov. Lamont’s economic recovery plan. We see great long-term potential for our business in Connecticut, as it becomes an increasingly attractive place to live and work. Additionally, the simplified travel advisory gives clarity to everyone who needs or wants to travel through Bradley International Airport.”

“We are thrilled that JetBlue has taken the step to strengthen their presence and route network at Bradley Airport with this impressive launch of four new cities,” said Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E, Executive Director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “JetBlue is an important partner for us, and we are very pleased to see that the airline recognizes the potential of the Bradley Airport market. We are confident that our strengthened partnership will provide major benefits for Connecticut travelers, JetBlue, and Bradley Airport.”

The company said this will allow for the airline to be the largest carrier in Connecticut by 2021.

“One of Connecticut’s best competitive assets is its international airport in such close proximity to so many of our communities and employers,” said Gov. Ned Lamont. “This strengthening of the partnership with JetBlue shows once again how important Bradley International Airport is to our present and our future. More routes, and a strong international airport are key to Connecticut’s success.”

JetBlue says the state’s new travel advisory rule is one major reason why they’re moving forward.

Connecticut is now allowing travelers to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival instead of quarantining for 14 days.

“While we still have a few issues here with depressed traffic levels here at Bradley, this will go a long way to hopefully start the recovery,” Dillon said. 

With passenger traffic still down more than 75 percent at Bradley and airlines such as Southwest cutting service, it comes as a surprise to some that JetBlue is adding service.

Quinnipiac Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy Dr. Fred McKinney says the move will benefit JetBlue in the years to come.

“They are making plans for a return to normalcy. When that happens, they’ll be well positioned to pick up some pretty big businesses out of Connecticut,” McKinney said.

McKinney says other carriers pulling back, the additional testing options, and Connecticut’s geographic location makes this a perfect formula for JetBlue.

“It’s going to make Connecticut a more attractive place for business consumers and workers to live,” McKinney said.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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