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Peter Anderson, right, blows a conch shell Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, as passengers exit a US Airways plane in Key West, Fla., marking the arrival of the first nonstop flight from Reagan National Airport to Key West International Airport. Saturday also marked the initiation of limited nonstop service from New York's La Guardia Airport to Key West via Delta Airlines. (Photo by Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau)
Two commercial carriers started nonstop seasonal service to Key West International Airport over the weekend, the Florida Keys News Bureau announced Sunday.
Delta and U.S. Airways will offer the direct flights from New York City and Washington D.C. respectively through Jan. 5.
Passengers Saturday were greeted by water-squirting fire trucks and a man blowing a conch shell, all while walking on a red carpet.
Delta’s direct flights from LaGuardia Airport will also continue each Saturday between March and early April. U.S. Airways flights from Reagan National Airport will continue each Saturday through April as well, officials told NBC 6 South Florida.
Airport officials said the flight between New York City and Key West is the longest commercial flight ever to serve the island.
Southwest Airlines will begin daily service between New Orleans and Key West on March 9.
The director of Monroe County airports said 2012’s passenger count surpassed 2011's number by the end of November, according to the news bureau.