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JetBlue Outlines 2021 Expansion Plans
JetBlue has on Tuesday announced a large expansion for the first half of 2021, including four new destinations. The growth is part of a large 24 route expansion starting in February 2021, targeting leisure destinations that have seen the most recovery since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new routes will also include a new Mint route for the airline, which is the airline’s highly popular transcontinental business class. The first new route will be launched on February 11, with all routes starting by June 2021.
Miami Becomes Low-Cost Mecca
As seen previously with other airlines, Miami is becoming a destination for low-cost carriers. JetBlue is now becoming the latest entrant in the market. With a large up 25 miles to the north in Fort Lauderdale, Jetblue will launch with only four destinations, but up to 14 daily flights, mostly to the northeast. The one route outside the northeast will be twice daily Mint service between Miami and Los Angeles.
In addition to the flight to Los Angeles, the airline will be adding up to four flights a day between Miami and Boston Logan International Airport, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport. The flights will be spaced throughout the day, with a morning departure, lunchtime departure, afternoon, and evening departure in each direction. The flights to the northeast will be operated on the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft, while the Los Angeles route will be on Mint Airbus A321’s. All routes to Miami will begin on February 11.
Southernmost in the U.S Goes Blue
As part of the expansion, JetBlue will head south to the southernmost point in the contiguous United States. Also beginning February 11, Key West will turn blue with two new routes to Boston Logan and New York’s John F. Kennedy airports. The flights will be operated seasonally between February and April, thrice weekly. The airline will operate the flights over the weekend on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays, once a day to each Boston and New York.
The flights will be operated by the airlines Embraer 190 aircraft due to runway size limitations at Key West. JetBlue will join American, Delta, and United in seasonally serving Key West from the New York area, but will be the sole operator on the Key West to Boston route. Previously JetBlue passengers could access Key West with a codeshare agreement with Silver Airways through Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa. The option for codeshare will continue year-round when JetBlue’s season ends in April.
New Blue International Destinations
In addition to the two new domestic destinations added by JetBlue, the airline will also add two new international stops. Early in 2020, the airline announced service to Guatemala City, however, these plans were put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the airline is ready to launch flights to its 25th country. The once-daily flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy and Guatemala City will launch on April 15, and be operated on the airline’s A320 aircraft.
In addition to Guatemala, JetBlue will also launch flights to Los Cabos International Airport on the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. The city will see two flights a day, one to Los Angeles and one to New York. Both flights will begin on June 17 and be operated by the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft. The area has seen airlines add new service as the pandemic continues to favor leisure travel, with American, Delta, and Southwest adding new flights to the airport.
New Routes in Existing Markets
The airline will be adding new routes between existing markets already served by the airline. Beginning February 11 JetBlue will add flights between Newark and Raleigh-Durham and Atlanta. From Raleigh-Durham, flights will be added to Austin, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa. From Austin, the airline will be adding a flight to San Fransisco. All flights starting on the 11th will be operated daily.
The next month the airline will continue its leisure expansion starting on March 4. From Cancun, the airline will operate thrice-weekly flights to Austin, Nashville, Las Vegas, and Sacramento. In Los Angeles, a daily flight will be added across the country to Jacksonville. The airline is also continuing expansion in Raleigh-Durham with daily flights to Los Angeles and San Fransisco.
All the new routes and destinations added by JetBlue, match the current travel demands for leisure destinations. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into the new year, airlines will continue to look at point-to-point routes connecting cities directly with popular leisure destinations. Earlier this year, United Airlines announced a similar strategy for the winter season, with multiple flights to Florida being added from the Midwest and Northeast. JetBlue was already well-positioned for leisure travelers with hubs in the Northeast and multiple flights to Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean.
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