Ontario International Airport (ONT) officials heralded news from JetBlue that the popular airline will return to ONT this fall, beginning with nonstop service to New York. JetBlue is the third carrier in recent months to announce new service at ONT, the fastest growing airport in Southern California.
“One of the biggest questions we get is when JetBlue will come to Ontario. Now we know that day is September 5th,” said Alan D. Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA).
“We can’t wait to welcome JetBlue, its crew members and customers. They can expect quick, easy access to our first-rate facilities and the hassle-free experience for which ONT is known.”
JetBlue will launch its new service with a daily roundtrip to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Flight 355 will depart JFK at 7:12 p.m. local time, arriving ONT at 10:39 p.m. Red-eye service back to JFK will depart ONT at 11:59 p.m. with arrival in New York at 8:24 a.m. JetBlue will serve the non-stop route with 160-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
OIAA CEO Mark Thorpe noted that ONT has room to grow and that there will be ample opportunity for JetBlue to initiate new routes as the airport adds services and amenities that are popular with airlines and air travelers.
“Ontario is the place to be in Southern California aviation,” Thorpe said. “Domestic and international carriers are quickly seeing the great value ONT provides for their airlines and their customers.”
JetBlue operated at ONT from July 2000 to September 2008. It suspended service as Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the previous operator of ONT, reconsidered its approach to regional air transportation and began emphasizing growth at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The OIAA took control of ONT from LAWA on November 1, 2016.
OIAA Vice President Ron Loveridge said JetBlue’s return is testament to the tremendous growth that’s occurring throughout Inland Southern California.
“This is seen as a region to invest in, and ONT plays a such a vital role in making sure that continues,” Loveridge said. “For business and leisure travelers, JetBlue’s new non-stop service to New York couldn’t come as more welcome news.”
ONT is the fastest growing airport in Southern California with passenger and cargo volumes increasing by 10% and more than 16%, respectively, in the first three months of 2018 compared with the same period last year. ONT welcomed 4.5 million passengers in 2017, 7% more than the year before.
Frontier Airlines initiated operations at ONT last October with service to its home base in Denver, Austin and San Antonio. Flights to the Texas airports continue to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, enabling ONT passengers to reach the East Coast without changing planes. In March, China Airlines began daily service to Taiwan, the first trans-oceanic service in ONT’s history.