JetBlue boosts LaGuardia shuttle amid Boston expansion

Dec 11, 2019

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JetBlue Airways is adding more flights in the competitive shuttle market between Boston and New York, part of a larger move to bulwark its Boston base from competition.

The New York-based carrier will add four flights for up to 10 a day between Boston Logan (BOS) and New York LaGuardia (LGA), JetBlue said Wednesday. With the added service that will begin this spring, the airline will offer up to 22 flights a day between Boston and the New York area, including Newark Liberty (EWR) and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK).

All of JetBlue’s flights between Boston and LaGuardia are operated with 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft. The jets feature both seatback personal TV screens and inflight Wi-Fi.

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The airline does not mention any additional “shuttle” amenities that Andrea Lusso, director of route planning, told TPG it was considering in September. Possible amenities included free same-day changes, complimentary coffee at the gate and beer and wine onboard.

With the additional Boston flights, JetBlue will reduce frequencies between LaGuardia and Florida, spokesman Philip Stewart told TPG. He did not indicate which routes will see reductions, but noted that all LaGuardia-Florida flights will shift to its largest jet, the Airbus A321, in 2020.

In Florida, JetBlue serves Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando (MCO) and West Palm Beach (PBI) from LaGuardia, according to Cirium schedules.

Related: JetBlue considers premium amenities for Boston ‘shuttle’ routes

JetBlue will also boost frequency between Boston and Austin (AUS) next year. The news of the additional flight, for up to three a day, comes a day after American Airlines announced it will begin twice-daily service on the route in May. Delta Air Lines also flies the route.

JetBlue’s growth in Boston is widely seen as a defensive move to bulwark its focus city against competitors. Delta upgraded Logan to a hub earlier this year and has since announced a number of new routes, including to Chicago O’Hare (ORD),  Miami (MIA) and Washington Reagan National (DCA) in the U.S. and to international destinations like London Gatwick (LGW) and Rome (FCO).

“We are committed to winning Boston,” JetBlue president Joanna Geraghty said in July. The airline is adding flights on many of its routes out of Boston, including boosting frequency to Washington National to up to 15 flights a day this fall.

In 2021, JetBlue plans to launch its first transatlantic service with flights to London from both Boston and New York JFK.

JetBlue expects slower-than-planned growth due to Airbus A321neo delivery delays. The carrier cut its growth forecast by roughly two points after delays pushed the deliveries of at least seven jets due this year into 2020.

Related:The best airline credit cards of 2019

Featured image by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images.

 

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