Business & Tech

JetBlue to offer Worcester-New York route

JetBlue Airways will soon begin offering service from Worcester to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
JetBlue Airways plans to offer service from Worcester to JFK Airport in New York City, possibly beginning early next year.

JetBlue Airways plans to offer a once-a-day flight from Worcester Regional Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, state officials announced Tuesday.

But don’t get too excited: There’s no scheduled date for when it will start operating.

First, work must be completed to install an updated $30 million system that will allow pilots to land in low-visibility conditions.

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That’s expected by the end of the year, Massport chief executive Thomas Glynn said, meaning the service is likely to begin around the start of next year.

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The flight will expand Worcester Regional’s reach to JFK, a major international transportation hub with hundreds of connecting flights.

It will also give business and civic leaders in Central Massachusetts increased access to New York.

With the flight expected to depart from Worcester at around 6 a.m. and return around midnight, it will make for an easy one-day trip to Manhattan or Brooklyn, Glynn said.

JetBlue, the only commercial passenger airline at the Worcester airport, already offers daily flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue has operated out of Worcester since 2013. Glynn said the airline has filled a little over 80 percent of its seats to the Florida destinations since the flights began, serving about 380,000 passengers.

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“If those had not gone well, they would have been more skeptical,” Glynn said. “Worcester is the second-biggest city in New England. . . . There’s a market in Central Mass.”

State subsidies were used to lure JetBlue to the airport, which came under the Massachusetts Port Authority’s control in 2010.

The airline considers New England a major market. JetBlue is the largest carrier at Logan International Airport in Boston. It also offers flights from Providence; Burlington, Vt.; and Portland, Maine.

Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.