JetBlue plans new New England link from Washington Reagan National

Nov 8, 2019

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JetBlue Airways has a new link to add to its Washington, D.C., network, connecting the U.S. capital with Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, next summer.

The New York-based carrier will offer thrice-weekly seasonal service between Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) and Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) beginning June 12, JetBlue announced Friday. The route will operate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 7 with Embraer E190 aircraft.

The new flight will complement the seasonal service between Washington and Nantucket (ACK) that JetBlue has offered since 2015, according to Cirium schedule data.

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JetBlue’s new Martha’s Vineyard route comes after a year of network cuts at Washington National. The airline ended service to Hartford (BDL) and Tampa (TPA) in July, and Charleston (CHS) in South Carolina and Jacksonville (JAX) in October. It is now using slots used from those routes for more frequencies to its hub in Boston and to its bases in Florida.

“With 30 slots at DCA, we didn’t have enough to make ourselves relevant,” JetBlue director of route planning Andrea Lusso told TPG in September. The airline shifted the slots from the four routes to play to “our strengths,” like the lucrative shuttle between Washington and Boston, he added.

JetBlue carried nearly a fifth more passengers at National in August than a year ago following the first round of network changes, according to the airport. The airline replaced E190s with larger Airbus A320s on several of the added flights to Boston.

Related: JetBlue struggles with relevancy in Washington market

While Martha’s Vineyard may not appear like a relevant market for JetBlue, the carrier was the largest to the island with a 41% share of scheduled passengers in 2018, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data via Cirium. In addition, the Vineyard is closely tied to the Boston area where JetBlue has a sizable base and brand presence.

In addition, JetBlue codeshares with Cape Air to Boston, New York John F. Kennedy (JFK), and Nantucket from Martha’s Vineyard, Cirium schedules show.

The airline will utilize slots at Washington National that it currently employs on the Boston shuttle for the seasonal Martha’s Vineyard flights.

JetBlue will compete with American Airlines between Washington and Martha’s Vineyard,.

Featured image by Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

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