Lizzy Kelley, City of Tallahassee
Yesterday, Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) sent 40 letters of support to JetBlue showing a strong community desire to have the air carrier offer service in Tallahassee. Many businesses have also sent letters directly to JetBlue.
“At the recent Chamber Conference, TLH staff gave a presentation to more than 500 business leaders, entrepreneurs and elected officials to discuss efforts to bring new, affordable air service to the community,” Airport Director Chris Curry said. “These letters are part of an ongoing effort to demonstrate that offering service through TLH makes good business sense for JetBlue and that it would also benefit Tallahassee’s business, leisure and tourism markets.”
The letters represent a great cross-section of the Tallahassee business community, from large area institutions to individuals based in Tallahassee who travel routinely for work and pleasure. The industries represented include health care, education, non-profit, government, law, construction, real estate, entertainment, hospitality and more.
“We challenged small businesses to show their support, and as expected, they stepped up,” Commissioner Scott Maddox said. “But our work is not done. This is only is one tool in our arsenal to land this carrier.”
A recurring theme in the letters is the desire for more flight options directly to and from South Florida, as well as cheaper prices in general.
“My company’s travel related business needs would vastly improve with JetBlue Airways non-stop service through the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, as approximately 30 percent of these trips are currently driven due to limited flight schedules and a lack of seat capacity,” wrote Lee Daniels, director of Visit Tallahassee.
“”I travel for work 48 out of 52 weeks a year. My destinations are all over the United States, and Tallahassee is my hometown,” wrote Morgan Hartsfield, a regional technical coach with AI South. “I drive to Jacksonville at least twice a month for cheaper fares. Having JetBlue as a carrier will not only benefit the airline, but it will stimulate the local economy by allowing travelers to fly into Tallahassee directly.”
In addition to established Tallahassee businesses and entrepreneurs, some businesses that are considering opening in the area showed support.
“Tallahassee is one of the areas that Arnold-Hanafin has under consideration for establishing a new aerospace engineering facility,” wrote Willie Arnold, president of Arnold-Hanafin. “The convenience of having non-stop flights between Tallahassee and Ft. Lauderdale will enhance Tallahassee position as a choice for our new facility.”
This is one way staff at the airport is working to make it easier and more affordable to fly into and out of Tallahassee.
The Tallahassee International Airport is owned and operated by the City of Tallahassee. For more information about the airport, visit FlyTallahassee.com, like it onFacebook and follow @iFlyTallahassee on Twitter.