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JetBlue sets date for start of flights between US and London



JetBlue Airways said Wednesday it will start transatlantic service late this summer, competing against bigger rivals on the lucrative route between New York and London.

The New York-based airline said it will start daily flights between JFK and Heathrow airports on Aug. 11, and add daily trips from JFK to London’s second-biggest airport, Gatwick, on Sept. 29. It plans to add Boston-London flights next year.

JetBlue wanted to start the flights earlier than mid-August but was delayed, partly by the process of proving to regulators that it could operate long over-water flights safely. The late launch means JetBlue will miss most of the peak summer travel vacation season. However, travel between the United States and the United Kingdom is still restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s not clear when restrictions will be eased.

“Given that the U.K. remains closed, we didn’t feel a ton of pressure to open earlier in the summer,” JetBlue President Joanna Geraghty said in an interview. “This gives us a couple more months. We are pretty optimistic that by then things will be ready to go.”

Before the pandemic, New York-London was among the most lucrative and highly competitive airline routes on the globe. It was popular with high-fare corporate travelers moving between two great financial hubs.

JetBlue believes it can undercut other airlines on price by using fuel-efficient and smaller, single-aisle Airbus jets with 117 economy seats and 24 lie-flat seats in a premium service that it calls Mint.

JetBlue said fares will start at $599 and £329 in economy and $1,979 and £999 in Mint. The latter is several hundred dollars cheaper than mid-August business-class fares displayed on Google Flights for rivals such as American Airlines, British Airways and Icelandair.

New entrants frequently offer deals when they start on new routes. Sometimes the bargains go away quickly.

JetBlue wants to offer more flights but found it difficult to break into Heathrow, where takeoff and landing slots are hard to get. The daily JFK-Heathrow flight will arrive in London after 10 a.m., which is later than many business travelers like.

“The times are not what we would have preferred,” Geraghty said, “but we also think they are times that are very workable for a large number of customers.”

JetBlue is looking next at expanding into continental Europe, where it would run into more competition from American, Delta and United. Among the cities being considered are Paris and Amsterdam, Geraghty said.

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Travel and Tourism

CFHLA PAC and PC Board of Directors congratulate election night winners in the City of Orlando races, and Florida House District 35 primary race



ORLANDO, Fla. – Today, the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA) PAC and PC Board of Directors congratulated the winners of the City of Orlando races, as well as the primary election winner of the open Florida House of Representatives, District 35.

This includes City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; Tony Ortiz, City Commissioner, District 2 (unopposed); Patty Sheehan, City Commissioner, District 4; Bakari F. Burns, City Commissioner, District 6; and Erika Booth (R), Florida House of Representatives, District 35.

Each of the winners were endorsed by the CFHLA PAC and PC.

“CFHLA PAC and PC would like to congratulate all of our endorsed candidates, who truly understand the importance of tourism and the positive impacts it has on our community,” said Jay Leonard, General Manager of the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area, and the Chairman of the CFHLA PAC and PC. “We targeted these elections as the top races for the hospitality industry and we look forward to working with each of these pro-hospitality champions, as we ensure that our region remains the best place to work, play, live and visit.”

Robert Agrusa, President and CEO of the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association went on to say, “CFHLA looks forward to working with Mayor Dyer and the rest of the Orlando City Commission, as we advance policies that will continue to provide a positive economic impact and support for the employees of the hospitality industry, as well as the entire Central Florida region. Additionally, each of these leaders are willing to face the challenges confronting our community and are focused on providing transportation and workforce housing solutions that will improve the quality of life for all residents of our community.”

Currently a member of the Osceola County School Board, Ms. Booth has now advanced to the General Election that will be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.

The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association’s mission is to represent the Central Florida Hospitality Industry, by setting the standard of excellence through advocacy, collaboration, education, recognition, and service. As the largest regional lodging association in the United States, CFHLA represents approximately 80 percent of the more than 129,500 hotel rooms in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties, and more than 500 “supplier” organizations that do business with the hospitality and tourism industries.

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Travel and Tourism

Brightline, Central and South Florida Leaders Welcomes Tampa Delegation To Ride Florida System From Miami To Orlando



Orlando, Fla. – Today Brightline welcomed Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, members of the Tampa Bay Partnership and Tampa and Hillsborough County elected officials and business leaders onboard to experience the new connection from South Florida to Orlando and explore future options for the Tampa extension.

The group of nearly 50 was greeted at the Miami Airport by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava before joining Brightline leadership for breakfast at MiamiCentral. The delegation traveled from Brightline MiamiCentral to West Palm Beach, where they were met by City of West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James. Mayor James provided an overview on the development seen by the City since the introduction of Brightline. The group toured the Brightline station, which is expected to be similar in scope to a future Tampa station.

The group made their final stop, arriving to the Orlando station just after 3 o’clock in the afternoon where they were welcomed by Kevin Thibault, Executive Director and CEO, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Jim Gray, Orlando City Commissioner, as well as representatives from Congressman Darren Soto and Representative Rita Harris’ offices, community leaders and Brightline staff.

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Travel and Tourism

GMCVB Names Karla Grant, Geraldo Guillen To Leadership Team



Credit: Shutterstock / GMCVB

MIAMI, Fla. ─ The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Miami-Dade County’s official destination marketing organization, has named Karla Grant director of human resources and Geraldo Guillen director of finance.

With more than a decade of management experience in a variety of industries, including hospitality, retail and tech, Grant is a seasoned human resources professional with an emphasis on automation, building and developing high-performing teams with a focus on creating positive and inclusive workplaces, reflecting the GMCVB’s core values. A graduate of Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, Grant is also a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional and accredited in hospitality and tourism management from Florida Atlantic University.

Guillen’s more than 15 years in financial management includes non-profits, government agencies and private industry organizations. His expertise in implementing major enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems, alongside a background in process automation, brings a new dimension to organizational financial operations. Guillen is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico UPR, with a bachelor’s in business administration and a concentration in finance. He earned his MBA from The Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

“Karla and Geraldo bring invaluable expertise that continues to enhance the strengths of our management team,” said President & CEO of the GMCVB David Whitaker. “Their extensive experience and passion for their respective fields enhances our capabilities and reinforces our commitment to our employees and stakeholders.”

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