Key West to get fresh air

ATLANTA -- Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines on Oct. 1 will begin operating two roundtrips daily between Atlanta and Key West.

This marks the first time in more than 40 years that a carrier will offer nonstop scheduled service to Key West from outside Florida.

While Key West draws intra-Florida air service from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and other points, it has not had nonstop flights from outside the state since 1961, according to the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.

Commercial service to Key West from outside Florida last was operated by Aerovias Q, which linked Key West with Cuba.

Airline passengers at this time make connections in Florida to reach Key West, but starting in October they will have that option in Atlanta, as well.

Atlantic Southeast will use a 70-passenger Canadair regional jet on the Atlanta-Key West route.

Meanwhile, Atlantic Southeast plans to upgrade its existing Orlando-Key West turboprop service to a 40-passenger Bombardier regional jet on Sept. 1.

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