JetBlue opens new Los Angeles base, plans 21 routes by December
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The New York-based carrier inaugurated its LAX base with new nonstop flights to seven cities — Austin (AUS), Bozeman (BZN), Las Vegas (LAS), Reno (RNO), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA) — on Wednesday. The first new departure is scheduled as flight B6 2532 from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City at 2:19 p.m. local time, according to Cirium schedules.
The base and first bevy of new routes replace JetBlue’s long-standing base at nearby Long Beach (LGB) airport. The airline closed up shop at the airport after 19 years on Tuesday. JetBlue began flights to Long Beach from New York John F. Kennedy in August 2001.
Today is @JetBlue‘s last day at LGB. We are forever grateful for their excellent service and the investment they made in the Long Beach community. Thank you for 19 great years! 💙 pic.twitter.com/HK4gqf90wt
— Long Beach Airport (@LGBAirport) October 6, 2020
The new base is the first in what many experts think will be a number of changes to airline route maps as a result of the pandemic. As one of the most competitive airports in the country, LAX may see more moves as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all weigh the fates of their own hubs there.
The map changes come as U.S. air travel remains down 65% during the week ending Sept. 27 compared to last year, data from trade group Airlines for America (A4A) shows.
That’s not stopping JetBlue in Southern California. Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning at the airline, has cited the fact that LAX handles two-thirds of the region’s air travelers as among the reasons for its move a few miles up the 405 freeway.
“For us, LAX is the new world and we’re burning our ships,” Laurence told TPG in an interview on Sept. 30. The airline will add another eight new nonstop routes by year-end. Laurence described the additions as a demonstration to airport operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) of JetBlue’s commitment to the base it wants to grow to 70 daily flights in five years.
While flights to and from LAX are not restricted like at JetBlue’s New York JFK base, the airport is notably gate-tight. In other words, airlines are unable to grow because they do not have the gate and terminal space for additional flights.
JetBlue will open its new focus city with three-and-a-half gates in Terminal 5 at LAX, one more than before the pandemic. It hopes to add more gates to its facilities there in the future, Laurence told CrankyFlier in July.
The airline has served LAX since 2009 and operated up to 20 daily departures from the airport prior to COVID-19.
Laurence told TPG that early flight bookings for its new LAX flights “look great.” This comes during COVID-19 and in the face of new competition; both Alaska and Delta have already added flights in some of JetBlue’s new markets.
At the same time, JetBlue has suspended flights to the Southern California airports of Burbank (BUR) and Ontario (ONT) until at least next April.
JetBlue is due to add flights between LAX and Cancun (CUN) and West Palm Beach (PBI) on Nov. 19. Then on Dec. 18, the airline will begin flights to Charleston, South Carolina (CHS), Hartford (BDL), Liberia (LIR) and San José (SJO) in Costa Rica, Raleigh-Durham (RDU) and Richmond (RIC).
The carrier will fly the new LAX-West Palm Beach and Liberia flights with its posh Mint premium service on Airbus A321 jets.
Featured image by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.