JetBlue Airways announced recently that it would be adding 30 new routes on its domestic network over the summer months. The airline believes its domestic offering is secure and that the new routes will allow it to operate at around half its usual capacity over the coming months. The airline is focussing on leisure travel as experts believe this area will rebound much faster than business travel.
Focus on leisure travel
JetBlue is looking to its new routes to help recover from the recent months of uncertainty. The new routes will allow the airline to start using aircraft which have been sat idle for months as well as enabling crew members to get back to work. The new services will be phased in slowly between July and October as demand increases.
The airline’s plans to expand include a focus on short-haul routes in Florida. It believes that routes allowing travelers to visit family and friends will be crucial to revenue over the coming months. However, JetBlue has said it would regularly evaluate the success of the new routes and that these may change based on demand.
As well as JetBlue’s network expansion, the airline will resume flights to nine airports where it previously suspended operations. Starting from July 23rd, the airline will introduce flights from Newark to Los Angeles and San Francisco, Charleston, South Carolina, and Jacksonville. As well as from New York’s JFK International Airport to Fort Worth and Detroit.
In August, the network will expand to include Austin, Las Vegas, San Diego, Sarasota-Bradenton, Minneapolis, Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando, San Juan, and West Palm. Finally, from October 1st, the airline will start flights to Pittsburgh, Portland, Oregon, Seattle-Tacoma, Cleveland, Providence, St Thomas, Washington National, Chicago O’Hare, and Pittsburgh.
JetBlue Premium Mint offerings
As well as introducing standard offerings, the airline will launch premium-service Mint flights from its Newark hub to Los Angeles and San Francisco. JetBlue will use Airbus A321s to operate these routes.
Passengers traveling in Mint cabins will have lie-flat seats and includes individual suites, which will be popular for anyone wanting to ensure social-distancing while traveling. It even has the first cappuccino machine specially designed for a US airline. Each seat has a 10-inch television screen with free entertainment, power outlets, and more legroom.
There is also access to JetBlue’s self-service food and drinks station, where passengers can help themselves. All of JetBlue’s A321s have internet access onboard for passengers to enjoy. JetBlue introduced Mint five years ago as a way to make business class travel more affordable compared to the major international carriers. And it did. JetBlue started prices at around $500 for a one-way ticket on routes that previously cost several thousand.
JetBlue’s Mint expansion will come as good news for many, as will the renewed focus on smaller stations rather than big hubs. As demand increases over the coming months, we may see more airlines introduces new routes to meet new requirements.
Do you think we will see airlines adding new routes to get grounded planes back in the sky? Do you believe JetBlue’s new routes will be viable for long-term operations or just as short-term revenue streams to aid recovery? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.