JetBlue ‘Committed’ to Boston Even as Delta Encroaches
JetBlue Airways is by far the largest carrier in Boston, but the carrier has faced an increasingly aggressive challenge by Delta Air Lines for the market’s top spot.
“We are committed to winning Boston,” said Joanna Geraghty, president of the New York-based carrier, in response to questions about JetBlue's position there a second quarter earnings call Tuesday.
JetBlue is the largest airline at Boston Logan (BOS) with up to 162 daily departures in July, according to Diio by Cirium schedules. Delta, the second largest at the airport, offers up to 129 daily departures and American Airlines up to 87 departures.
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Geraghty said that JetBlue's operation in Boston is "very profitable" and that airline is the preferred choice of local passengers.
JetBlue carried nearly 28% of the 39.9 million passengers that passed through Logan in 2018, U.S. Department of Transportation data via Diio shows. Delta, by comparison, carried 17.2% of passengers.
JetBlue's leading position in Boston has not stopped Delta. The SkyTeam Alliance carrier upgraded the city to hub status in June citing significant investments in new flights from Logan.
"We're really focused on reinforcing our position as the number one global carrier in Boston," said Amy Martin, managing director of domestic network planning at the airline, on the upgrade at the time. Delta plans to offer up to 150 daily flights from Logan by the end of the year.
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Delta has added eight new markets from Boston this year, including resuming flights to Washington Reagan National (DCA) in September.
Not to be outdone, JetBlue has continued to beef up its already robust Boston operation. It began offering near hourly service to both the New York area and Washington National this month, and will offer more flights to Charlotte (CLT) from October.
Delta has staked out its own tagline in the market, using its broad international network to bill itself as the city’s “top global carrier.” But JetBlue could soon muscle in on that, too. It plans to launch service to London, the first of what is planned as a larger European expansion, from the New England city in 2021.