JetBlue adds 4 new cities, including Miami, in 24-route expansion
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All planes are pointed south for JetBlue, as the New York-based carrier has announced its latest leisure-focused route map expansion.
Aimed at quickly capturing traffic and generating revenue, JetBlue will begin flying to four new cities by mid-2021, including Guatemala City (GUA), Key West (EYW), Los Cabos (SJD) and — perhaps most surprisingly — Miami (MIA).
The nine new routes connecting the four new cities will primarily be flown from existing JetBlue focus cities, including Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX) and New York (JFK).
The carrier will also continue its push beyond its “hubs,” with 15 additional point-to-point routes between existing destinations that are also aimed at capturing traffic on routes where people are currently flying.
All the new flights are immediately available for booking.
Doubling down on South Florida
When the Miami flights launch on Feb. 11, JetBlue will seemingly be competing head-to-head with its soon-to-be partner, American Airlines.
From Miami, JetBlue will fly four times daily to Boston, as well as to two destinations in the New York area: JFK and Newark.
Clearly, these routes are aimed at those looking to escape the winter. Though JetBlue already serves these three Northeast destinations from its Fort Lauderdale (FLL) focus city — as well as Palm Beach (PBI) — the carrier is likely banking on there being enough demand to add Miami as well.
All the new routes to the four new cities carry traffic in a north-south direction, except for one.
The exception is a new transcon route from Miami that will bring the carrier’s Mint-equipped Airbus A321 to Los Angeles, with two daily flights between the cities.
Once the Miami service launches, JetBlue will offer nonstop business-class between all three major South Florida airports — FLL, MIA and PBI — and Los Angeles.
JetBlue’s top-notch Mint biz just received a major overhaul and it’s already scoring rave reviews from flyers, myself included. (The other new Miami flights will be operated by JetBlue’s Airbus A320.)
It remains to be seen how these new Miami routes work with the new Northeast-focused alliance between American and JetBlue, which seems to have cleared regulatory concerns. Flyers should expect to hear more about the partnership in the coming months.
American, as the largest carrier in Miami, already serves all the new JetBlue routes. AA even recently upgauged its Miami to JFK route with two-daily Boeing 777 wide-body aircraft, citing increased demand in the market.
Thursday’s announcement comes on the heels of a similar announcement from the carrier back in September, when it announced 24 new routes that pushed beyond its usual focus city strategy. Included in that announcement were seven new flights from United’s mega-hub in Newark (EWR) and another seven from Los Angeles (LAX) and two from Raleigh-Durham (RDU), the latter two both big Delta cities.
And even further south in Florida
As if Miami wasn’t south enough, JetBlue will also launch two new routes to Key West.
The carrier plans to connect both Boston and JFK with four-weekly flights to the southernmost point in the mainland U.S.
This seasonal flights seem designed to capture the “sun-and-fun” traffic departing the dreary Northeast winter. Note that this service will be operated by a 100-seat Embraer E190 aircraft, arranged in a 2-2 all-coach configuration. (The runway at Key West isn’t long enough to support JetBlue’s larger Airbus jets.)
JetBlue isn’t the only carrier trying to capitalize on Key West traffic. United recently added new service between Dulles (IAD) and Key West on Nov. 1. The United Express route operates five-days-a-week on 70-seat Embraer E170 jets.
Guatemala, Cabo are coming too
Back in January, JetBlue initially unveiled plans to start service to Guatemala City (GUA). Then, the pandemic hit, indefinitely postponing the new route.
Now there’s a date for the new daily service from JFK: April 15, 2021. Guatemala will become the 25th country served by the carrier.
Los Cabos will become the carrier’s third destination in Mexico when daily service launches from both JFK and LAX on June 17, 2021.
Interestingly, both American and Delta are slated to end their (new) seasonal Cabo service in April, Cirium schedules show. It remains to be seen if the legacy carriers will extend their flying. If not, JetBlue would have a monopoly on New York to Cabo service during the summer months.
As for Los Angeles, however, JetBlue will face stiff competition from American, Alaska, Delta and United. Together, those carriers plan 514 flights between the cities in July 2021, Cirium schedules show.
15 more new routes
Aside from the four new cities, JetBlue is expanding in existing markets across the country.
Many of the new flights seem to be aimed at Delta. That includes six new destinations from RDU, as well as flights from Newark to both RDU and Delta’s mega-hub in Atlanta (ATL).
Additionally, the carrier will continue expanding its new Los Angeles focus city, with a new transcon to Jacksonville (JAX) launching on March 4.
JetBlue is also boosting service from Cancun, with flights to Austin, Las Vegas, Nashville and Sacramento beginning on March 4. Those routes come despite a recent warning from the Center for Disease Control to avoid all unnecessary travel to Mexico.
Several other routes will launch in the first half of 2021, including a new international service to Bogota (BOG). Scroll down for a full list of JetBlue’s new routes.
All in all, there’s one district pattern throughout JetBlue’s recent route shakeup — new flights are being added at the expense of traditionally business travel-focused cities.
Until that lucrative travel segment returns to the skies, the carrier seems to be looking to generate as much revenue as it can from leisure-oriented hops.
One question remains still remains, however. Once we hit mass vaccination, will these new routes stay or will airlines revert to their former maps? Only time will tell.
Beginning Feb. 11
- New York-JFK
- Los Angeles
Key West to:
- New York-JFK
San Francisco to Austin
Beginning March 4
- Las Vegas
Los Angeles to Jacksonville
- Las Vegas
- San Francisco
Beginning April 15
New York-JFK to Guatemala City
Beginning June 17
Los Cabos to:
- New York-JFK
- Los Angeles
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
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