For the very first time a JetBlue plane touches down at TF Green Airport. The flight months in the making as state and local leaders work to make Warwick a transportation hub.
"It's a validation that we're doing things right," said Rhode Island Airport Corporation President and CEO Peter Frazier.
Passangers getting a warm welcome from local politicians. Among them, the plane's pilot, Pat Socha.
"Rhode Island is close to my heart. I came home. You grow up here, it's a small state you think I want to get away but when I come back here, it's coming back home," said Socha who grew up in East Providence.
Starting today JetBlue will offer two daily flights to Orlando and daily service to Fort Lauderdale, which are already very popular.
"The warmth that you have shown us in inviting us into your home and into your community is unparalleled. We don't see this type of invitation and embrace from other airports," said JetBlue Executive VP and chief people officer Joanna Geraghty.
The low cost airline is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs to Rhode Island. It's arrival also means competition to TF GReen's dominant carrier, SouthWest Airlines. That could make for lower fares for travelers.
The airports president expecting that will mean a boost in business which is increasingly important to an the airport which has been seeing declining traffic.
"What we have in Rhode Island is a terrific airport, ready, able and willing to respond when the economy turns around," said Frazier.