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    JetBlue to fly to Costa Rica

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    JetBlue announced plans Wednesday to begin service to Costa Rica, a route that would be the carrier’s first to Central America. Starting March 26, JetBlue will begin flying one daily round-trip flight between Orlando and the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. The airline will use its 100-seat Embraer E190 jets on the route and will offer connecting service to San Jose from 14 cities, including New York, Boston, Washington and Austin.

    Costa Rica will be the ninth country served by JetBlue, continuing the airline’s push into Latin America. JetBlue also says the new route bolsters its Orlando focus city. San Jose will be JetBlue’s 22nd nonstop route from Orlando. In a press release, JetBlue says it “will further expand its commitment to Central Florida”with previously announced new service to Bogota, Colombia, and to Nassau in the Bahamas. The Bogota route begins Jan .29, and will be JetBlue’s first service to South America. The Nassau service starts Feb. 1.

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    “JetBlue is picking up the route from Dutch carrier Martinair, which pulled out of Orlando earlier this year,” the Orlando Sentinel writes in its Tourism Central Florida blog. Steve Gardner, the executive director at Orlando International, says JetBlue’s Costa Rica route “further establishes our city as a gateway to the Latin American markets.”

    JetBlue notes that it still must get the OK from the Costa Rican government operating authority before it can begin the service, but Costa Rican officials sounded supportive of the new route. “The United States is still our biggest market, and the arrival of JetBlue and its new Orlando route opens new possibilities for Americans to visit us and for Costa Ricans to have more options to visit the U.S.,” Costa Rica Tourist Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides says in the JetBlue press release. USA Today

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