Tucson Metro Chamber Opens Tucson – JFK Non-Stop Route
The Tucson Metro Chamber’s Air Service Task Force has succeeded in negotiating the creation of non-stop air service between Tucson and New York City’s JFK International Airport with American Airlines.
The first inbound flight from JFK will arrive in Tucson on October 6 and return to JFK the following morning. Daily service will depart Tucson at 7:57 a.m. and arrive in New York at 4:00 p.m., in time for overseas connections to Europe and beyond. Return flights will depart JFK at 5:00 p.m. and arrive in Tucson at 7:29 p.m.
Until now Tucson had been the largest U.S. city without non-stop air service to the New York metro area.
The new non-stop service is expected to make an instantaneous impact on both business and leisure travel. Visit Tucson estimates that between 2012-14 Tucson lost 49 meetings and conventions equaling 39,000 hotel room nights when meeting planners who contacted them specifically cited air service as a reason to choose location other than Tucson.
The Chamber’s Air Service Task Force was led by Bill Assenmacher, CEO of CAID Industries. Assenmacher and the task force secured financial support from more than 45 local businesses and organizations to create a $3 million revenue guarantee for American Airlines in the event that load factors fall below a minimum level. This is a common practice cities around the country use to win new air service routes. Research has shown that more people with S. Arizona zip codes fly to New York every day by making a connecting flight or flying out of another airport than there are seats on the American flight.
“Southern Arizona will benefit from this new non-stop route in more ways than we can imagine,” says Assenmacher. “We expect an increase in business and leisure travel. Whenever we can bring out-of-market spending to our community we stand to grow our local economy.”
Chamber President & CEO Mike Varney adds, “Bill and his team worked tirelessly on this project. He was the ‘maniac on a mission’ and he got it done. The local businesses and organizations that stepped up to create the revenue guarantee deserve everyone’s gratitude. It’s amazing what we can do when the entire community works together.”