AIRLINE TO START NEW NONSTOP SERVICE FROM CHICAGO TO KEY WEST IN JANUARY
Wearing coats and sweaters, the 55 passengers of United Airlines’ first flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Key West International Airport stepped off the plane last Friday. They left New Jersey with temperatures below freezing and a chance of snow and were greeted with sunshine, a light breeze, 80 degree temperatures, celebratory baseball caps and a water cannon salute from Monroe County Fire Rescue.
“Best flight ever and I’ve been coming to Key West for 30 years,” said Deborah Damato of Flemington, N.J. – who was visiting this time for her granddaughter Coco’s first birthday. “Usually it takes seven hours. I will never take another connecting flight here.”
United Express Flight 3670 arrived in Key West at 1:13 p.m – 28 minutes early. The Embraer 170 regional jet aircraft, with 70 seats (six first class and 64 economy) refueled and departed on time for Newark about an hour later.
“This is a great day for Key West,” said Donald DeGraw, Monroe County’s Director of Airports. “This year we are going to see about a 4 percent increase in passengers, and with United onboard for 2017, we expect our growth to be even greater.”
DeGraw said Key West International Airport is on track for 730,712 passengers to arrive and depart this year. Last year, the airport serviced 705,321.
Haley Johnson, sales manager for United Airlines, said from the Conch Flyer Beach Bar at the airport: “We are so happy to be here. Who wouldn’t want to be here. We are so happy to connect Key West with the Big Apple today. It’s a big accomplishment.”
The daily non-stop service between Newark and Key West will increase to twice daily on Feb. 16 and run through May 4, 2017. United will be the only carrier to offer daily nonstop service between the New York area and Key West. United’s Newark (EWR) is its largest hub operation in the New York City area and offers customers convenient connections throughout the Northeast and Midwest.
From its hub at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), United also will provide Saturday only nonstop service to Key West – the only nonstop service between Chicago and Key West. This service begins Jan. 7 and will run through April 29, 2017.
During the more than yearlong effort working with the United to bring these flights to Key West, DeGraw said the airport received tremendous support from the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, the Key West Chamber of Commerce and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. The BOCC, which oversees the airport, waived airport fees for the first year of service.
United Airlines and United Express operate more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 airports across five continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated more than 1.5 million flights carrying more than 140 million customers. United is proud to have the world’s most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates more than 720 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 21 new Boeing aircraft, including 737 NGs, 787s and 777s. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.