JetBlue Moves Forward With Focus City Strategy

JetBlue has unveiled a variety of changes designed to make the airline even more relevant in its focus cities while also ensuring that its network is optimized to meet customer demand.

The changes, which are also expected to generate a significant bump in annual profits, will result in a new JetBlue city being added to the roster in Ecuador, new service between current JetBlue cities and additional flights on popular routes, the airline said in a statement issued today.

In addition, to free up aircraft time for the introduction of new flights, there will be reductions on underperforming routes.

“We constantly review network performance and make adjustments to support our focus city strategy, which is about building up our key markets to be stronger and even more relevant to local travelers,” Joanna Geraghty, president, JetBlue, said in a statement. “In total, these changes are forecast to generate a substantial improvement in annual profit and strengthen our business as a whole, while allowing us to invest in our growth and our industry-leading customer experience.”

As part of the system changes, JetBlue will launch new service at Guayaquil, Ecuador’s José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport with flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The service will operate daily and is expected to begin in early 2019.

Guayaquil will be JetBlue’s second city in Ecuador. The airline launched Quito in 2016. It is also the sixth JetBlue city in South America overall. Seats for the new route are expected to go on sale in the coming weeks.

“New flights to Guayaquil introduce yet another unique and exciting destination to our customers, while also extending JetBlue’s reach into Latin America,” said Geraghty. “Broadening our international presence in Ecuador also helps us grow our route map in Fort Lauderdale where JetBlue is the leading airline.”

Ecuador’s largest city and main port, Guayaquil features revitalized squares, parks and various urban-renewal projects, and also has a growing theater, film and arts scene. The city, which also includes a riverfront promenade and modern shopping areas, serves as a gateway to Pacific beaches and the Galapagos Islands.

The new flights between Fort Lauderdale and Guayaquil not only expand JetBlue’s footprint outside the U.S., but are part of the airline’s broader reach into international markets.

JetBlue has been building a significant network throughout Latin America and the Caribbean over the past two years. It now operates in 22 countries.

As part of the airline’s announcement today, it also revealed that it will introduce four additional new routes that it says will “connect the dots.”

The routes are designed to connect more customers with destinations across the route map – north to south and east to west. To that end, JetBlue will launch new nonstop service starting this winter between:

—Boston and Greater Rochester International Airport

—Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

—Fort Lauderdale and St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport

—Providence’s T. F. Green International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport

Roundtrip flights on all four of the new routes will operate once daily. In addition to creating new nonstop choices for travelers, the new Boston and Fort Lauderdale routes open up a variety of new or improved connecting choices for customers traveling through the airline’s focus cities. Seats on all four new routes are on sale today.

And finally, JetBlue also revealed today that it will increase flights on nearly two dozen of its most popular and profitable existing non-stop routes in the Northeast, Florida and the Caribbean.

About two-thirds of those added flights will originate in Boston or Fort Lauderdale, as part of an effort to accelerate JetBlue’s focus city growth strategy.

In JetBlue’s Boston focus city – in addition to new nonstop Rochester service – the airline will boost flights on nine existing routes. JetBlue will soon offer flights to more than 70 nonstop destinations and is on track to reach 200 daily departures at Logan in the coming years.

In Fort Lauderdale, JetBlue’s South Florida focus city plays a key role in supporting the airline’s growing route map and offers flights to nearly every corner of the airline’s network from Lima to Los Angeles.

The airline said Fort Lauderdale is one of its fastest-growing focus cities, serving customers throughout South Florida and offering a fast and convenient alternative for Miami-Dade travelers. JetBlue has committed to up to 140 daily departures in the coming years and recently expanded its operation to new gates in Terminal 3 and began utilizing Terminal 1 for additional international arrivals to help support future growth.

As New York’s hometown airline, JetBlue said it will also boost service on a variety of routes from its home at JFK’s T5.

JetBlue operates 170 daily flights at JFK and served nearly 14 million customers in 2017.

The airline said it will soon announce more schedule choices on flights to Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean and summer seasonal favorites like Nantucket.

To support all of the new city and multi-route expansions JetBlue will reduce flights in some existing markets. As of January 8, 2019, JetBlue will eliminate service in:

—Daytona Beach International Airport: Once daily New York/JFK service

—St. Croix’s Henry E. Rohlsen Airport: Once daily San Juan service

—Washington Dulles International Airport: Daily New York-JFK and Boston service

JetBlue will also scale back flying on a number of other underperforming routes and frequencies in January, including certain flights serving Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Santiago, Dominican Republic. In Mexico City, where JetBlue is launching new service from Boston and New York JFK, the airline will reduce twice daily service from both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando International Airport (MCO) to once daily between each Florida focus city and the Mexican capital in the first quarter of 2019.

At the Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Maine, JetBlue will transition from year-round daily service to daily summer seasonal service.

The final day of current service levels will be January 7, 2019. Service will then resume on a summer seasonal schedule starting in spring 2019.

Source: Read Full Article