Last week I wrote about the resurgence of ultra-longhaul flights thanks, in part, to cheaper fuel prices. Today’s announcement is not in the ULH category but it is a long route whose existence can almost certainly be attributed to low fuel costs. JetBlue will fly between Buffalo, NY and Los Angeles starting on 16 June 2016. The route is launching with an introductory fare of $99 each way if purchased by 2 February 2016.
The flight will be a daily service, with an evening westbound returning as a redeye back to the east coast. This is typical “utilization” flying the carrier uses to add in some extra transcon routes when it is trying markets out. But in this case it has Buffalo as the destination, the only redeye which does not hit one of the four hubs on the east coast. That’s a significant shift in the way the company is flying. Even more so given that LAX is also not a hub/focus city operation for the company.
No doubt that part of the draw is the catchment area for Buffalo including suburban Toronto as well; lots of passengers fly out of BUF to save on airfare relative to the Toronto area airports. And this route is another option for them as well. But I have to believe that the most significant driving factor is the cheap fuel costs. This is the third new almost transcon route announced by the carrier in recent weeks; Boston-Salt Lake City and San Diego-Ft. Lauderdale are also set to begin in Q2, though those have a hub at the east coast end.
Oh, and I’m getting my seat for the inaugural now. See you there??
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