United Airlines will start seasonal service at Key West International Airport in December, with nonstop flights to and from Newark, N.J., and Chicago, the county announced this week.
The New Jersey flights run from Dec. 16 through May 4 with one flight per day. A Saturday flight to Chicago O’Hare International Airport will start Jan. 7 and run through April 20. Both flights will be on 70-seat Embraer 170 regional jets.
United will be the only airline to offer nonstop flights between Key West and its hubs in Chicago and Newark/New York.
Don DeGraw, Monroe County director of airports, says the addition of United to EYW (airline code for Key West) came from a year-long effort. Although he told county commissioners on Wednesday he expects the airline to stay put in Key West for a second season and more, only one season is guaranteed for now.
“They put a lot of resources into this route,” DeGraw said. “Their intent is to stay here for a long time.”
Tickets for the new flights to Key West go on sale today, said county spokeswoman Cammy Clark, who added several new jobs will be created by United for the service.
County commissioners, who oversee the airports, agreed to waive first-year fees for United, estimated at about $105,000 but the airline would pay full fare if it returns for a second season, DeGraw said.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen