JetBlue Heads West With Inaugural Route To Boise

Boise Airport has secured another airline, with JetBlue beginning flights between Idaho’s capital and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The new route is not only JetBlue’s first service into Idaho, it is also Boise Airport’s longest-range route.

JetBlue has begun an A320 service to Boise, Idaho. Photo: JetBlue

Boise gets a JetBlue A320 four times a week

JetBlue’s first flight to Boise operated on Friday. Flight B6 2741 will now push back from John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) at 18:30 local time on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. After five hours and 41 minutes in the air, the flight lands at Boise Airport (BOI) at 22.11 local time.

The return service also operates on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Flight B6 2742 departs Boise at 23:07 local time and operates as a red-eye service across to JFK, landing at 05:58 the following morning. The east-bound flight is quicker, taking only four hours and 51 minutes.

JetBlue’s new flights to Boise are operated by Airbus A320 all-economy class aircraft. While the absence of Mint seats might put some off, JetBlue is keen to spruik the virtues of their economy class cabin – free WiFi and IFE, generous legroom, complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks, and soft drinks.

“Boise is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, and our new flights land at the perfect time to meet growing demand with the only nonstop service between Idaho’s capital and the Northeast,” says JetBlue’s Andrea Lusso.

“With our new service in Boise, we’re once again diversifying the JetBlue route map, advancing our New York focus city strategy and growing our customer base by connecting more people to the places they want to go.”

JetBlue is flying four times a week between New York and Boise. Photo: Charles Knowles via Flickr

Airlines pay smaller airports like Boise fresh attention

Before the travel downturn, BOI handled around four million passengers in 2019, placing it outside the top fifty busiest airports in the United States. However, the airport had seen passenger numbers increase by nearly 50% in five years. As lockdown-weary travelers eye the wide open spaces and fresh air in outdoorsy spots like Idaho, smaller airports like Boise now see fresh attention from airlines like JetBlue.

This year, Alaska Airlines, the longstanding largest carrier at Boise, has added more nonstop flights to more cities. Southwest Airlines has ramped up its seasonal and permanent flights from Boise. United Airlines is now flying nonstop to five cities from Boise. American Airlines serves three destinations from Boise. Delta Air Lines links Boise to four destinations.

The boom in business has seen the FAA about to bump up Boise Airport from small airport status to a medium airports classification. Airports that handle 0.25 – 1% of the country’s annual commercial passenger enplanements are classified as medium hubs.

“We have been on the borderline between small and medium hub for quite some time,” said Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp.

JetBlue’s flights will bring more business and bump up revenues at Boise Airport. Photo: JetBlue

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Boise Airport gets an upgrade – but it may come at a cost

The FAA might enhance BOI’s status, but it comes at a cost. Because of the change in status, Boise Airport may receive less federal funding for airport improvement grants. The airport will also have additional federal regulatory requirements related to passenger services, airline competition plans, and reporting requirements.

However, offsetting the costs of becoming a bigger and busier airport are the benefits. As airlines like JetBlue start landing, more business is generated. More planes touch down, more passengers pass through, terminal spends increase, and Boise Airport picks up more revenue.

“Our community is delighted to welcome JetBlue to the Boise Airport,” says Ms Hupp. “This is a huge win for our customers.”