JetBlue already expanding in Miami, takes on American with new Northeast route
JetBlue just started flying to its third South Florida city in February.
Less than a month since launching Miami flights, the New York-based carrier is back with more. Beginning on June 24, JetBlue will fly between Hartford (BDL) and Miami (MIA) with once-daily flights from the Connecticut capital.
The new Hartford flight, operated by an Airbus A320, will bring JetBlue's Miami route total to five, joining existing service to New York-JFK, Newark (EWR), Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX).
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The move comes on the heels of JetBlue's new partnership with American Airlines. The two carriers entered into the Northeast alliance on Feb. 25, offering flyers 80 new codeshare routes, including many between Boston and the New York City area and South Florida.
While the airlines are friends up north, the heat is on down south.
American Airlines has historically operated a fortress hub in Miami, including multiple daily frequencies to all five of JetBlue's Miami destinations.
Related: Everything you need to know about the American Airlines-JetBlue alliance
By adding Hartford's Bradley International Airport, JetBlue seems to be showing it's serious about Miami. Plus, JetBlue likely wants to remain relevant in South Florida, where it already operates a hub in Fort Lauderdale and another large outstation in West Palm Beach.
Adding more Miami flights also staves off some of Delta's ambitions to grow service to the city. In 2019, the Atlanta-based carrier took a 20% stake in LATAM, designed to bolster the Delta's presence in Latin and South America. Despite the pandemic, Delta still plans to turn Miami into a "gateway hub."
Related: Delta and LATAM promise 9 new routes post-coronavirus
JetBlue's new route isn't just about bolstering Miami. It also strengthens its position in Hartford, where JetBlue is the largest carrier both in the city and in the state of Connecticut.
In recent months, JetBlue has added four point-to-point flights from Hartford to Cancun (CUN), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco, joining the carrier's six existing routes from BDL.
By adding Miami to the mix, JetBlue wants to be at the forefront of the city's pandemic recovery.
"We appreciate Governor Lamont’s leadership and focus on safely driving Connecticut’s recovery to benefit residents and visitors to the Nutmeg State," Scott Laurence, JetBlue's head of revenue and planning said in a statement.