The first passengers aboard JetBlue's Flight 863 from JFK International Airport in New York to Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis were treated to much more than JetBlue's customary inflight television and endless snacks. The first passengers aboard the airline's 100-seat, twin-engine Embraer E190 were greeted not only by their loved ones, but smiling town officials, pols and other local brass.
Chamber staff handed out swag bags stuffed with local goodies to the arriving passengers and those on the return flight to the Big Apple were also treated to a catered spread featuring white and blue frosted cupcakes and a presentation before their flight. There was even inflight seat bingo (with prizes including 20,000 TrueBlue®points) and a customary water cannon salute honoring the first landing.
The celebratory event marked the first of hopefully many flights JetBlue will offer between the Cape and New York. The seasonal, once a day service is not only convenient, but affordable.
During the brief presentation by airport reps, town officials and chamber staff, Town Manager Tom Lynch noted the happy coincidence of the plane's number--N375, coinciding with the town's 375th anniversary celebration this year. "Your success is our success," Lynch told the JetBlue representatives.
Thursday's flight represented years of hard work, according to Barnstable Municipal Airport Manager Roland "Bud" Breault. The Town of Barnstable worked tirelessly to build a 21st century air terminal for all of Cape Cod, Breault said. Between 2011-2012, the old tower and terminal were demolished and a new state of the art facility was constructed, part of a $40 million project.
Cape Cod Chamber CEO Wendy Northcross said the results of a transportation survey conducted by the chamber two years ago not only indicated Cape visitors and commuters would welcome direct flight service between New York City and Hyannis, but specifically wanted JetBlue.
Jeff Goodell, JetBlue's Vice President of Government Affairs took to the podium last, welcoming Hyannis as his airline's 86th destination. It was Hyannis-based Cape Air that JetBlue entered into their first partnership with in 2007. That connection with Cape Cod continued on Thursday. Goodell ended the presentation with an official ribbon cutting. Holding big, blue-handled scissors, Goodell quipped, that he wasn't allowed to hold them alone and invited his new local partners to grab on for the ceremonial cut.
Daily JetBlue service between JFK and Hyannis will run through September 9. Flights are scheduled to arrive in Hyannis at 1:05 p.m., then depart for New York at 1:45 p.m. Flights between the two destinations take about one hour.
Above: N375, an Embraer E190 making its way to the airport, following the first JetBlue landing in Hyannis on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Above: The plane passes below a water cannon salute, courtesy of two airport fire trucks. Such salutes are customary for inaugural and other special flights.
Above: Passengers prepared to disembark the jet following the first ever NYC to Hyannis flight. Flight time is just over an hour.
Above: Wendy Northcross, Cape Cod Chamber CEO (far left) and Cape Air President Linda Markham (2nd from left), help JetBlue VP of Government Affairs Jeff Goodell cut the ceremonial ribbon just prior to the take off of the return trip to JFK Airport in New York.