JetBlue Airways is growing its presence in its hometown.
The New York-based carrier announced on Wednesday that it’s adding service in the following three markets:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
- Westchester County Airport (HPN) and Charleston International Airport (CHS).
- HPN and Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY).
Both new Westchester flights will operate seasonally on a daily basis beginning on May 25, while the new route from JFK to DCA will operate three times daily beginning on June 15.
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Service to Martha’s Vineyard and to Charleston ends on Oct. 10 and Oct. 29, respectively.
JetBlue will deploy a 100-seat Embraer E190 to both Martha’s Vineyard and Washington, D.C., and a 162-seat Airbus A320 to Charleston.
It’s worth noting that while the aforementioned markets are all new for JetBlue, the 213-mile connection from New York to Washington is already operated by the airline’s partner in the Northeast, American Airlines.
American confirmed to TPG that it’ll continue to fly three daily flights between JFK and DCA, meaning that JetBlue’s service is additive, as the two airlines go up against Delta’s five daily frequencies between the two airports.
American and JetBlue have teamed in Boston and New York as part of the so-called Northeast Alliance to launch a slew of new flights, add additional frequencies on existing routes and offer reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and points earning and redemption opportunities for travelers.
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While the Northeast Alliance has helped the two airlines become a unified competitor against Delta and United — the two biggest carriers in the region — the pact has been deemed anti-competitive by the Department of Justice, which sued the airlines on anti-trust grounds.
Despite the ongoing legal drama (there’s no telling yet when the ruling will be announced), JetBlue seems undeterred by the pending lawsuit and continues charting growth for the Northeast Alliance.
In fact, it’s likely no coincidence that the airline asked Congressman Gregory Meeks, who represents the fifth district of New York, to comment on the new route to the nation’s capital.
“As a very frequent flyer from JFK in New York’s 5th Congressional District to our nation’s capital, I am excited to see new low-fare competition on this route… I look forward to even more growth with this long-sought addition to their network,” Meeks said in his overwhelmingly positive statement.
On the other hand, JetBlue’s new flights from Westchester County come as the airport, which has an affluent catchment area, has seen impressive growth headlined by new airline startup Breeze Airways.
Breeze launched year-round flights in June 2022 between Westchester and Charleston, and now JetBlue seemingly feels the need to compete against the startup that — somewhat ironically — was founded by the same person who started JetBlue, David Neeleman.
Meanwhile, JetBlue won’t have any traditional competitors on the Westchester to Martha’s Vineyard route.
Tradewind Aviation runs scheduled seasonal flights between the two airports, but the carrier flies small Pilatus PC-12 turboprops up to 15 times a day for commuters. Tradewind operates from private terminals with scheduled service starting at $730 per person, per flight.
To make the announcement even splashier, JetBlue is entering all three new markets with some catchy intro fares of $59 each way.