Demand for JetBlue Airways flights out of Charleston ahead of its launch next week has led the low-cost carrier to add a fourth flight on Saturdays only to Boston starting April 6.
In other Aviation Authority business:Mary Graham from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and Ron Mitchum of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments were appointed to a panel overseeing the redevelopment of the main terminal building at Charleston International.The authority extended FedEx’s lease for space in the airport’s cargo facility for five years. The monthly rent will rise about 7% to $2,402 from July 1 through 2018.The authority allocated $407,394 for a new airport security access control system from Tyco Integrated Systems. It also voted to spend $326,866 for a terminal paging system from Com-net.Warren Wise
The New York-based airline begins service out of Charleston Thursday with three daily flights, two to John F. Kennedy International and one to Boston’s Logan International.
“What a credit to Charleston for advance sales,” said Helen Hill, executive director of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, which lobbied for nearly three years to bring the airline to the Lowcountry.
JetBlue, which hoisted its bright blue sign at its airport kiosk Wednesday, brings 15 employees, with seven of them hired locally, airline station manager Chris Plunkett told the Charleston County Aviation Authority at its monthly meeting Thursday.
“We are excited to be here and serve this great community,” he said.
JetBlue announced in September that it would start service at the end of February out of Charleston.
A reception, including a water cannon over the first flight, is planned for Thursday when the first flight from New York touches down in Charleston. It is scheduled to land shortly before 10 a.m.
In other airport board news, Boeing Co. has secured new appraisers to try to come to an agreement on the price of 320 acres of airport property Boeing wants to buy for possible future expansion.
Boeing and the board have been negotiating a price for the land along International Boulevard since late January. Tommy Hartnett, who is on the airport’s land sale committee, said Thursday the two sides were more than 10 percent apart in prices, requiring second appraisals from new vendors.
The Aviation Authority chose Paul K. Moore and Associates of Mount Pleasant for a fee of $14,500. Boeing selected Michael C. Robinson of Charleston Appraisal Service of Charleston to conduct its second appraisal.
The appraisals are due March 20.
Read more on JetBlue in Sunday’s Money & Jobs section of The Post and Courier.