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Schumer urges JetBlue to bring service to Albany

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Albany/HV: Schumer urges JetBlue to bring service to Albany
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COLONIE, N.Y. -- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Monday called on JetBlue Airlines to bring service to Albany International Airport.

"Capital Region businesses know it will help spur job growth, travelers will hopefully see lower fairs as a result of more competition, and JetBlue will be able to draw more customers and an airport that is serving a growing population," Schumer said.

Schumer, who also helped get Southwest Airlines to Albany, said there are 1.2 million people living within hour of the airport and some choose to go elsewhere because of the lack of and cost of flights.

Monday, Robert Lopez was experiencing both.

"It's reasonably tough to get a flight. I'm having a lot of difficulty getting a connecting flight," Lopez said.

Airport and local officials joined Schumer in saying if JetBlue started offering flights, results would be seen immediately.

"It will be able to draw more people in," said airport CEO John O'Donnell. "Our catchments area will grow. Our numbers would probably go up, I would say, easily 20 percent within the first year of having JetBlue here."

A JetBlue spokesperson said the airline is always looking for opportunities to grow, but as of now it has no plans to begin Albany service.

Schumer said he'll continue talking to JetBlue officials and hoped to entice the air carrier to the Capital Region.

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