JetBlue Announces Seven New Destinations Coming to RDU
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is encouraging anyone who flies over the holidays to travel smart throughout their trip by following public health guidelines. The airport expects a slight bump in passenger traffic the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, although traffic will still be dramatically lower than the same period last year.
“At this time in 2019, RDU was on pace to serve more than 14 million passengers, compared to the five million we expect to fly through RDU in 2020,” said Michael Landguth, president & CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “Although passenger traffic remains significantly down, RDU has come a long way since air travel plummeted and the terminals stood empty at the beginning of the pandemic. Airports and airlines are working together to provide a safe travel experience and are strongly encouraging anyone who flies to travel smart.”
362,000 passengers traveled through RDU in November, a 70% decrease from 2019. RDU saw a 12% increase in passenger volume during Thanksgiving week compared to the previous week – a 64% decline over the same holiday week in 2019. A 64% decline in year-over-year traffic is also expected over Christmas with 104,000 total passengers, and the week of New Year’s anticipates a 59% decline compared to 2019.
The busiest travel days are projected to be Sunday, Dec. 27, with 18,450 total passengers, and Sunday, Jan. 3, with 18,860 total passengers.
New Destinations: JetBlue will serve seven new destinations from RDU next year in addition to the five routes the airline launched in November and December. JetBlue will add daily service to Austin (AUS), Jacksonville (JAX), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO), and Tampa (TPA) beginning Feb. 11. It will also add daily service to San Francisco (SFO) and Las Vegas (LAS) starting Mar. 4. JetBlue’s nonstop service to SFO will be RDU’s first direct flight to the Bay Area since the pandemic began.
These new additions will bring JetBlue’s network at RDU to 15 nonstop markets – up from three a year ago and tying them with Southwest Airlines for the most nonstop markets served from RDU.
RDU will add another dot to its service map on Jan. 7, when American Airlines resumes nonstop service to Reagan National Airport (DCA). These new flights help reconnect the Research Triangle to the major tech centers of Austin and San Francisco, while also providing service to some of the most popular markets RDU customers want to visit for business and leisure.
Finance Executive Named: Ron Kapocius, who currently serves as Vice President of Finance, will be promoted to Vice President and Chief Finance Officer effective Dec. 21. Kapocius joined RDU in 2015 and has also served the airport in the roles of Director of Financial Planning and Controller. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Illinois University, is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the North Carolina Association of CPAs.
Fly Confident: As passengers head to the airport to visit family members and friends over the holidays, they will notice a new travel experience at RDU, including touchless booking and payment for airport parking, hand sanitizers throughout the airport, acrylic barriers between customers and employees and signs, seat covers and floor decals that encourage physical distancing.
RDU’s new Terminal Operations Team will be a visible presence in the airport, conducting multi-point inspections and ensuring that stringent new cleaning and disinfecting practices are being followed. From curbside to boarding, our rigorous health and safety practices help passengers travel smart and fly with confidence.
Travel Smart: RDU encourages everyone to practice the three W’s when they travel: wait six feet apart, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. These are the best precautions you can take to prevent the spread of illness, including when you’re traveling.
All guests and employees are required to wear a face covering at all times at the airport and airlines will not let travelers board a flight without one. RDU is making it easy for everyone to comply by handing out free, FEMA-issued masks at our information desks.
Finally, don’t forget to arrive two hours early for your flight to make sure you have enough time to check-in, process through security and get to your gate on time.
Holiday Shopping: More retailers are re-opening their doors at RDU just in time for holiday shopping. 5th & Sunset, Tech on the go, Corsa, Swarovski and No Boundaries have reopened for select days and hours during the holiday season. If you need a last -minute gift, stop by the terminals for a sidewalk sale from December 17th through 27th.
5th & Sunset, Vineyard Vines, No Boundaries and Tech on the Go are offering 25 – 50% off the entire store. Select items are on sale at Swarovski and all news and gift locations have select items on sale for 20 – 50% off.