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JetBlue has offered a nice distraction from the current travel crisis to announce a series of new routes out of nine East Coast/Florida airports and the introduction of its acclaimed Mint Business Class cabin to two new transcontinental routes out of New York Newark airport. Additionally, the airline also announced that nine temporarily closed cities and several summer seasonal destinations will reopen in early July.
By its own admission, JetBlue’s income from business travel faces a “less certain recovery timeline” than the income it receives from its more leisure-focused routes so it has taken the decision to open up 30 new domestic routes “to serve customers in markets where leisure and VFR (visiting friends and relatives) travel is showing some signs of strength“. Rather than keeping its aircraft parked and awaiting an improvement in business travel, JetBlue will be bringing back aircraft from storage and employing them on routes that the airline believes will make it more relevant to more travelers and drive loyalty going forward.
Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning at JetBlue has this to say about the airline’s latest move:
“Coronavirus has transformed airline route maps, and as we begin to see small signs of recovery, we continue to be flexible with our network plans to respond to demand trends and generate cash in support of our business. We’ve selected routes where customers are showing some interest in travel again and where our low fares and award-winning experience will be noticed.”
As part of its play for more leisure travelers, JetBlue is adding new point-to-point routes out of a number of airports in Florida where the airline says that it will be offering customers “low fares with great JetBlue customer service”.
The one move announced that bucks JetBlue’s trend towards a (temporarily) more leisure-focused network is the introduction of Mint Business Class service to two transcontinental routes out of Newark. From 23 July, JetBlue will operate Mint-equipped A321 aircraft between Newark and Los Angeles/San Francisco multiple times per day.
It’s worth mentioning that although the appearance of the Mint Business Class cabin on two new transcontinental routes will probably get most of the focus, the introduction of this cabin also brings good news for Economy Class travelers – the A321 aircraft that offer the Mint cabin also offer the most legroom in standard Economy Class out of any aircraft operating in the United States.
JetBlue’s Mint-equipped A321 aircraft offer over a hundred 18″ wide Economy Class seats with 33″ of pitch (legroom) and over 40 seats labeled “even more space” which offer between 37″ and 41″ of legroom. That’s a very impressive amount of space to find in the cheapest cabin on sale.
JetBlue’s New Route Expansions
New Transcon Mint Services
- Newark – Los Angeles (LAX) – Up to 3x Daily (From 23 July 2020)
- Newark – San Francisco (SFO) – Up to 2x Daily (From 23 July 2020)
Other New Routes
- Newark – Charleston (CHS) – Up to 1x Daily (From 23 July 2020)
- Newark – Jacksonville (JAX) – Up to 1x Daily (From 23 July 2020)
- Newark – Austin (AUS) – Up to 2x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Newark – San Diego (SAN) – Up to 1x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Newark – Las Vegas (LAS) – Up to 2x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Newark – Phoenix (PHX) – Up to 2x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Newark – Sarasota–Bradenton (SRQ) – Up to 1x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
New York JFK Expansion
- New York JFK – Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Up to 2x Daily (From 23 July 2020)
- New York JFK – Detroit (DTW) – Up to 2x Daily (From 23 July 2020)
- New York JFK – Minneapolis–Saint Paul (MSP) – Up to 2x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- New York JFK – St. Thomas (STT) – Up to 2x Weekly (From 1 October 2020)
New York LaGuardia Expansion
- New York LaGuardia – Fort Myers (RSW) – Up to 1x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- New York LaGuardia – Tampa (TPA) – Up to 2x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Philadelphia – Orlando (MCO) – Up to 2x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Philadelphia – Palm Beach (PBI) – Up to 2x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Philadelphia – Fort Myers (RSW) – Up to 1x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Philadelphia – San Juan (SJU) – Up to 1x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
- Philadelphia – Tampa (TPA) – Up to 1x Daily (From 6 August 2020)
Fort Lauderdale Expansion
- Fort Lauderdale – Pittsburgh (PIT) – Up to 1x Daily (From 1 October 2020)
- Fort Lauderdale – Portland (PDX) – Up to 2x Weekly (From 1 October 2020)
- Fort Lauderdale – Seattle (SEA) – Up to 3x Weekly (From 1 October 2020)
- Orlando – San Francisco (SFO) – Up to 1x Daily (From 1 October 2020)
Fort Myers Expansion
- Fort Myers – Cleveland (CLE) – Up to 1x Daily (From 1 October 2020)
- Fort Myers – Providence (PVD) – Up to 1x Daily (From 1 October 2020)
- Tampa – Providence (PVD) – Up to 1x Daily (From 1 October 2020)
- Tampa – Washington National (DCA) – Up to 1x Daily (From 1 October 2020)
Palm Beach Expansion
- Palm Beach – Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Up to 1x Daily (From 1 October 2020)
- Palm Beach – Pittsburgh (PIT) – Up to 1x Daily (From 1 October 2020)
JetBlue has said that all of these flights will be on sale as of today, 19 June 2020.
It’s nice to be able to report on new routes and new services at a time when we seem to have been discussing route suspensions and cutbacks for as long as we can remember and it will be interesting to see how other airlines respond to these moves by JetBlue (the new Mint service out of Newark is a direct threat to United). With a bit of luck this will trigger a price war as airlines scramble to try to tempt people back into the skies but, even if it doesn’t, it’s nice to see flyers being given more options out of more airports.