New York-based JetBlue has today revealed a massive expansion for the early part of 2021. The airline is adding nonstop service on no less than 24 new routes, including four from Miami. Most excitingly, the airline will add a Mint service between Miami and Los Angeles, and a swathe of other point-to-point and international routes too.
It’s all go for JetBlue in 2021
For New York-based JetBlue, adaptation has been the name of the game in surviving COVID. Not content with ditching long-time West Coast home Long Beach in favor of expansion at LAX, not to mention adding Guyana to the ever-expanding list of new routes, the airline has today revealed plans to look south for security as we head into 2021.
As the airline said in its release, MIA is no longer MIA (missing in action). From early 2021, JetBlue will launch service to three cities out of Miami, flying to Boston, Los Angeles and both New York Newark and JFK. Destinations will be served up to four flights a day, apart from LAX, which will see up to two daily flights.
Even more excitingly, the service to Los Angeles will feature JetBlue’s outstanding Mint business class, which has recently had a full makeover of all the soft products. All three routes will see service from JetBlue’s A320, with the exception of Los Angles, which will feature the carriers A321.
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Details of the flights
So, beginning with what is clearly the flagship route out of Miami, Los Angles will launch on February 11th, 2021. The morning outbound flights from LAX depart at 09:00, arriving into Miami at 16:58. The second option is a painful redeye, departing at 23:35 and arriving at 07:29 the following day. Having said that, it’s a decent length flight with very well thought out timings, and there are worse places to spend the night than in a gorgeous Mint cabin.
The New York JFK flights will operate up to four times a day, also starting on February 11th. These leave JFK at 08:00, 12:00, 16:00 and 19:00 (they sure picked up some tidy slots there), arriving into Miami at 11:12, 15:11, 19:14 and 22:22. Returns are equally convenient, going back at 08:20, 12:50, 16:10 and 20:00 and landing at JFK at 11:11, 15:42, 19:04 and 22:54.
Both Newark and Boston have a similar spread of flight times (full details on the press release), giving passengers the option of early morning, late morning, mid-afternoon and early evening to depart. This is a very clever strategy by JetBlue, aiming to catch the family visitor, the businessperson and the holidaymakers at their ideal points in the day.
But that’s not all
You might think JetBlue’s aggressive expansion into the south of Florida would have been enough excitement for one day, but that’s only the start of it. JetBlue has a few more tricks up its sleeve today…
Rolling out in 2021, ready to book today: four new destinations—Miami, Key West, Los Cabos and Guatemala City—plus dozens of new routes. Book now for 2021: https://t.co/MwuOc7RXim pic.twitter.com/XtgRnwmPwp
— JetBlue (@JetBlue) December 17, 2020
First is a secondary Florida destination – Key West. A destination famed for its dolphins, diving and adventure, JetBlue will fly on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays from New York JFK and Boston. Serving the route will be the Embraer E190, with outbound flights in the morning and returns around lunchtime.
The international expansion continues too, with daily flights from JFK to Guatemala City (GUA) starting April 15th. This is a route that was previously announced by the airline last January, but was paused as it worked through the worst of the crisis.
Added to this is a daily flight to San José del Cabo (SJD) from JFK and also Los Angeles. The route will launch on June 17th next year, with a 9:00 departure from JFK, and a 13:30 from LAX, returning at 14:45 and 17:00, respectively.
And if you didn’t think that was enough, the airline further blew our mind with no less than 15 more planned routes launching in the first quarter of 2021. JFK – Bogota is exciting, as are the numerous new connections to Cancun. But what is most notable is the point-to-point services and how much they’re on the rise.
Domestic demand is key to survival
With international travel difficult at best, the US is determined to continue moving. JetBlue’s not the first airline to pick up the pace into tourist destinations as a means to survive the crisis. Southwest has undergone a massive expansion, some also into Miami, and American Airlines recently upsized its offering between JFK and Miami to a massive 777 in response to demand.
While it’s the Guatemalas and the Cancuns that get travelers hot under the collar, it’s the domestic pairings where JetBlue is really being smart. The airline has been, for example, at Raleigh Durham since 2006, but had barely any of the traffic share last year. Today’s announcement adds five new destinations to the route map from this airport.
On February 11th, RDU will see services to Austin-Bergstrom, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, as well as from Newark Liberty. And already this year, JetBlue has added Las Vegas and San Francisco from the airport.
Austin-Bergstrom, too is getting a lot of JetBlue love. It’s an airport that, again, the carrier has had a presence at since 2006, but is now really stepping up business. It’s a firm Southwest territory, so the airline will have some competition on its hands.
It is these point-to-point, nonstop routes that will see JetBlue fare excellently coming out of this crisis. Many routes may be unserved or underserved, and with passengers nervous about the spread of the virus, traveling with as few touchpoints as possible is the way to snag business. As Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning for JetBlue, said,
“This year has pushed us to find new ways of operating our business and we’ve adapted at a pace we’ve never seen before, pivoting our network in response to changing customer demand. We’re continuing to play offense to bring in cash revenue and support our business recovery. These network additions help fine-tune our geography in ways that make sense in today’s market.”
Southwest’s CEO said, too, that new city pairs are the way to survive, and JetBlue has certainly got tickets for that train of thought. With hopes of a vaccine beginning to let the world start breathing again, JetBlue’s agility puts it in a positive position to come out of the crisis on top.