WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) -- With passenger traffic declining at T.F. Green Airport for the past seven years, Green may now be growing again with the arrival of low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways.
Flights started Thursday afternoon with arrivals from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
At a State House announcement in July, JetBlue's president and CEO talked about the company.
"It's all about how do you build a product that makes people say ‘thanks for taking care of me,' it's part of a lifestyle," said Dave Barger.
JetBlue plans to start off with two flights a day to Orlando, one flight a day to Fort Lauderdale with connection to the Caribbean and South America.
Business leaders are hoping JetBlue's decision to come to Rhode Island will help give a boost to the state's economic recovery after years of recession.
"Air travel and air service not only brings new visitors and incremental spending to local hotels, attractions and other businesses; but it is directly related and we all know this, to economic activity in the area," said Laurie White of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.
JetBlue's arrival is expected to create 22 direct jobs, plus roughly 200 or so indirect jobs at businesses that serve the airline and airport.
"We're very excited to have them," said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian.
JetBlue also flies out of nearby Boston.
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