PITTSBURGH, July 9 -- The Allegheny County Airport Authority issued the following news release:
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald with representatives of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, HolaPittsburgh! and JetBlue Airways made an announcement Wednesday, July 9, about new daily nonstop flights from Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Florida. The new JetBlue service complements its existing four daily flights to Boston, which has been operating since June 30, 2006.
The announcement at the Courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse, downtown Pittsburgh, was followed by an 11:30 a.m. concert featuring the Salsamba Trio, with band leader Eric Susoeff.
"We're very excited to be adding another flight to the offerings at Pittsburgh International Airport," said County Executive Fitzgerald. "This additional connection to Florida will benefit business and leisure travelers and gives our region one more option for their travel. We look forward to continuing to work with JetBlue to grow that service here in Pittsburgh."
JetBlue Airways will begin offering daily nonstop service from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood beginning October 29, 2014. Travel can be booked now at www.jetblue.com. The airline's schedule between Pittsburgh and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood will depart PIT at 7:15 a.m. and will arrive in FLL at 10:00 a.m. The return flight departs FLL at 6:55 p.m. and arrives at PIT at 9:31 p.m.
"Pittsburghers have asked for a nonstop, year-round connection to Florida. With the introduction of this service, customers will not only save time, but also save money as this is traditionally a high-fare route," said Robin Hayes, JetBlue's President. "Besides access to South Florida, this will also meet the great demand for travels onwards to the Caribbean and Latin America."
"Fort Lauderdale is an extremely important route for the Pittsburgh region," said David Minnotte, Chairman of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. "It is not only an outstanding vacation destination in its own right, but also serves as a gateway to the Caribbean through connections at FLL. It is also a popular departure spot for many cruises."
Following the announcement, the Salsamba Trio performed in the Courtyard. The Latin Jazz group fuses authentic Latin-American rhythms with the harmonic and melodic sophistication of contemporary American jazz, led by band leader Eric Susoeff.
To celebrate this new service, the Allegheny County Airport Authority announced that it will begin a parking promotion to coincide with the flight's start on October 29. The program will offer discounted parking for customers who fly from Pittsburgh International Airport to Fort Lauderdale nonstop. Further details on the promotion will be announced in the coming months.
The Airport Authority and JetBlue Airways will also participate at a Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership event at Market Square on Friday, July 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. during Salsa in the Square. Part of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's "Celebrate Downtown!" eight days of programming, the Salsa in the Square event will include live music by salsa band Machete and free dance instruction by Las Sabras Dance Company. Complete details can be found at downtownpittsburgh.com/celebratedowntown.
There was also information available about the Hola Pittsburgh! Initiative at the concert announcement. Organized by a partnership of government, business and nonprofit organizations and chaired by the Greater Pittsburgh Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hola Pittsburgh! seeks to improve the diversity and inclusiveness of the Pittsburgh region to sustain its population, economic prosperity, and quality of life.
In 2014, the first year of the initiative, Hola Pittsburgh! will focus on attracting and retaining professional Latino talent, including skilled tradespersons. For these individuals, professional opportunities are sizeable across the Pittsburgh region, particularly in the fields of healthcare, engineering and financial and business services. Longer-term, the initiative will invite individuals of all skill sets to see Pittsburgh as a place of opportunity.