JetBlue connecting the dots

As other carriers are cutting back on their schedules, grounding airplanes and otherwise reducing capacity JetBlue is going about their business with a “sure and steady” approach, including adding flights in some markets. They have an incredibly aggressive airplane acquisition schedule and they’re going to have the planes anyway so it becomes a matter of finding places to put them where they can make a bit of money.

In two announcements today (1, 2) and one yesterday (link) JetBlue announced service to connect existing stations with additional flights starting this fall/winter. These additions include four additional flights from White Plains and a new route (White Plains – Tampa), three new routes from Washington – Dulles (Palm Beach, Ft. Myers and San Juan, PR) and a flight between Orlando and Richmond, VA. The White Plains increases will begin in November the Dulles increases in December and the Richmond flight in September. JetBlue is poised to become the largest carrier at White Plains, with 11 daily flights to Florida for the snow bird season.

The Dulles and Richmond additions are a pretty direct response to United, Delta and American pulling out of Palm Beach, Richmond and San Juan, respectively. And the White Plains additions seem to be a pretty strong attack on AirTran and their service from White Plains and Stewart. JetBlue has been able to maintain their flight loads thus far this year and creep their revenue per passenger up, meaning that they aren’t losing too much money. And the introductory fares on the new routes are all over $100 each way rather than the $49/69/89 we’ve seen in the past, so the carrier is definitely going after these routes to make money right away rather than just to gain market share.

Oh, and Portland, OR – Long Beach, CA seems to be in the works starting in October, but I didn’t see a press release about that one. The line has been removed from their route map now.

Also, it seems that if you book a Air+Hotel deal on the JetBlue web site you can get free EML seating, though it seems to be more of a bug than a feature so it may disappear at any point.

Update (7.15.08 8:55pm EDT): It looks like there are a bunch of new Portland, OR routes coming in, though there hasn’t been an official announcement yet. But there are some indications from error messages on the web site that a few new routes are coming in October:

We’re planning the following new service:

  • Austin, TX (AUS) and Portland, OR (PDX) starts October 9, 2008.*
  • Long Beach, CA (LGB) and Portland, OR (PDX) starts October 9, 2008.*
  • Las Vegas, NV (LAS) and Portland, OR (PDX) starts October 9, 2008.*
  • Chicago, IL/O’Hare (ORD) and Portland, OR (PDX) starts October 9, 2008.*

Good news for folks in Portland.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.