JetBlue is reportedly calling cabin crew back to work as the airline gears up for a busy summer. In a company memo sent out on Tuesday, flight attendants on leave have been asked to come back early, with the airline stating it expects a “busy summer period.”
JetBlue calls back crew on leave of absence
Low-cost carrier JetBlue expects ticket sales to rise sharply come the summer, with the airline recalling its cabin crew back early. In a memo, the airline told crew booked for leave in April and May to come back a month early. Cabin crew will also be required to attend federally-mandated training before April 22nd.
The memo stated, as per CNBC,
“As we enter a new phase of the pandemic with case counts going down and vaccination rates going up, our focus is now getting ready to safely ramp up our operations for a busy summer season and our Inflight Crewmembers are critical to our recovery opportunity.”
It isn’t clear how many of JetBlue’s 20,000 flight attendants are affected by the latest move. JetBlue’s CEO, Robin Hayes, said in an interview with CNBC,
“We’ve seen a significant increase in people booking over the last few weeks, both March and into the spring and summer.”
Many flight attendants across the U.S have been encouraged to take leaves of absence or buyouts, with airlines looking to cut operating costs by any means.
Airlines are getting more bookings
With a sharp uptick in flight bookings over the past few weeks, many in the industry hope a permanent recovery is upon us. Several U.S airlines have revised their financial forecasts after getting more bookings, including JetBlue, which now forecasts a 61% reduction on 2019’s levels, a promising improvement on the previous figure of 70%. With many carriers echoing this optimism, airlines’ stock prices rose to their highest levels in over a year.
JetBlue recently made some significant changes to its policies, including an overhaul of its basic economy fares. Passengers flying with a “blue basic” ticket will no longer get free carry-on baggage other than a small personal item like a backpack or purse. However, the airline has removed change fees (except for blue basic fares) to give passengers flexibility in uncertain times.
JetBlue optimistic about Europe
During a conference this week, CEO Robin Hayes revealed his high hopes for JetBlue’s foray into the European market. The carrier is looking at London as its first destination and will explore other destinations, with rumors suggesting Italy, for its fleet of Airbus A321LRs and A321XLRs.
Despite the slowdown over the pandemic, JetBlue has introduced 62 new routes to its 2021 schedule, including a significant expansion into Miami. Just yesterday, the airline announced its new digital health passport, CommonPass, which will be trialed on flights to Aruba.
Have you booked any flights with JetBlue? Where are you flying to? Let us know in the comments.