Worcester airport adding flights to NYC

Non-stop service to JFK to begin after completion of safety project

Worcester Regional Airport in Worcester is seen here in a WWLP file image from 2008

WORCESTER, Mass. (State House News Service) – From Worcester, it is about a 175-mile and three-hour drive to New York City. But central Massachusetts residents will soon have a quicker way to get to the Big Apple.

JetBlue Airways will establish a daily route between Worcester Regional Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport once an airport improvement project is completed, the airline and Massport announced Tuesday.

The non-stop service to JFK will begin upon completion of a $30 million project to install a Category III (CAT III) instrument landing system, which will allow pilots to land at Worcester in low visibility conditions that now require them to be diverted to other airports.

“This is a game changer. As Worcester continues to grow, so does our need for even more convenient travel options from the center of the Commonwealth,” Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. said in a statement. “Massport’s major investments in improving Worcester Regional Airport have already brought dividends through JetBlue’s successful flights to Florida and we look forward to their introduction of service to JFK in the near future.”

In 2013, JetBlue began service from Worcester to Orlando International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. More than 110,000 passengers flew from Worcester to Florida in the first full year of service, according to Massport.

“Worcester Regional Airport (ORH) is a vital tool for connecting our local economy to the global economy,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who lives in nearby Shrewsbury, said in a statement. “This new flight, and JetBlue’s investment in it, is another sign of the strength and continued growth of Central Massachusetts and our administration will continue to work closely with Massport to ensure ORH is a key connector for the people of the state.”