Above: the first JetBlue flight on the tarmac at Piarco International Airport in Trinidad (CJ Photo)
By Joshua Martinez
PORT OF SPAIN — JetBlue made its first-ever flight to Port of Spain, Trinidad on Monday, the latest step in the carrier’s continued expansion in the Caribbean region.
The flight departed New York’s John F Kennedy airport at around 7:30 AM on Monday morning after a high-profile launch that included dancers and JetBlue crew members wearing Carnival masks.
Before taking off, JetBlue pilot Ron Woodruffe led a waving of the flag of Trinidad and Tobago outside of the cockpit.
After a spirited flight featuring an almost Carnival-like atmosphere, the first JetBlue-Trinidad flight touched down in Port of Spain around 1:29 PM local time, met by an official reception from officials of Trinidad’s government and JetBlue.
Both sides agreed that the service could prove to be significant for the country, both to increase service for its large diaspora population and to help drive leisure tourism growth, the latter a major new priority for Trinidad.
Officials pointed to what they hoped would be a “long partnership” between Trinidad and the New York City-based carrier.
Above: JetBlue and Trinidadian officials at the welcome ceremony (CJ Photo)
“With a large diaspora in New York City and South Florida, our new service will connect Trinidadians to family and friends in the US,” said JetBlue President Robin Hayes in a statement. “This new route will also provide convenient service for those traveling for pleasure.”
JetBlue is operating its new service on its Airbus A320 fleet with 150 seats.
“We are pleased to welcome JetBlue and its award-winning service to Trinidad and Tobago, as it will provide additional travel options to both the business community as well as the leisure traveler to and from the US,” said Stephen Cadiz, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Transport.
Above: JetBlue pilots ahead of takeoff at New York’s John F Kennedy Airport
Port of Spain is the 84th city in JetBlue’s global network.
The company will be also launching new service to Port of Spain out of Fort Lauderdale beginning May 1.