Topic of the Week: Virgin America Goes to Newark, JetBlue to Philly

It looks like Virgin America finally picked up slots and gates to start Newark service. JetBlue is also starting a new city with service from Boston to Philly. What do you think? Good choices?

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29 Comments on "Topic of the Week: Virgin America Goes to Newark, JetBlue to Philly"

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Jason
Guest

PHL-BOS It will be good to have a second airline on the route. When SWA left the route fares doubled. Hoepfully jetBlue can make it work. Will be nice to see lower fares.

yo
Guest

Jet Blue will fail, everyone on that route failed. US crushed Southwest, how does JB plan to do better?

noahkimmel
Member

Jetblue has a frequent flyer base and relevancy in BOS whereas WN didnt have relevance or connection opportunities or corp. contracts at either end.

While Jetblue isn’t “thriving” in CLT/PIT, it is surviving, and for BOS to be a business-traveller focus for b6, PHL service was necessary. It is also the lowest risk of the top destinations not served from BOS by b6.

gabeandino
Member

Not to mention, B6 is flying this route with the E-190 and not 137 seat 737s.

Zack Rules
Guest

B6 is thriving enough on the BOS-PIT route to add a 4th flight and surpass US in seat capacity for the first time.

Jason H
Guest

Then again, B6 pulled out of JFK-PIT recently, presumably due to competition from DL (JFK and LGA), US (LGA), and UA (EWR).

David SF eastbay
Member

I read something about Jetblue and PHL and it made it sound like they were going in with hundreds of flights to combat US. Then they mention two flights to Boston which made the whole story a joke.

Virgin America can now cover the two big long haul airports from both SFO/LAX so that should help get more of a following. Now the question is how will UA react to this.

DesertGhost
Guest

Who knows?

I do think Boston to Philly will work out for jetBlue since it has a solid base in Boston.

As for San Francisco / Newark your guess is as good as mine.

Southeasterner
Guest

“Five JetBlue flights every day definitely beats a long drive, or the current air alternative,”

But not coach bus or Acela? It would be interesting to see if you could make it from downtown Philly to downtown Boston in less than 5 hours by plane (when including getting to/from the airport-which isn’t too bad in Boston, security, wait time).

Ron
Guest

EWR–LAX really needs competition: fares jumped from about $250 to $600 one-way after the United-Continental merger. Now there’s also a single American flight (when did that happen?), but fares are still high.

I haven’t been following fares on EWR–SFO, but I’m guessing the situation is similar. Competition will be welcome. Let’s hope Virgin can make it.

scbailey55
Member

I think the Jetblue BOS-PHL move will work out. Not sure five flights a day will do it but competition on the route I think will be well received. Anything to make flying in and out of Philly more enjoyable is cool with me.

noahkimmel
Member

I think the long term will become both airlines serving the route, but at different capacities/frequencies than they do today. Eventually, I see both airlines using mainline (jetblue a320s for some flights) and US dropping frequencies. I also see Jetblue growing PHL into Florida….both carriers are fierce competitors (Jetblue in LGB-LAS, BOS-BWI, BOS-ORD, etc. and US defending CLT, PHL against various competitors)

Scott
Guest

The Virgin America announcement is GREAT news! I live in SF and my family in NJ so I do the SFO-EWR route 6-7 times a year. Fares this year (since the full integration of CO and UA) have been outrageous ($750 for Christmas….and that wasn’t on the peak travel days). There needs to be another direct option and VA will definitely shake things up for United.

noahkimmel
Member

The PHL move is one which has been anticipated for awhile. I’m glad to see b6 going in with 5 daily as it brings relevancy compared to their usual style of starting stations with 1x daily. While the e190 is large for some of the mid-day flights, the business market may still allow b6 to be profitable and to get more contracts.

How long until we see PHL-FLL/MCO/SJU and even TPA/RSW/LA area

noahkimmel
Member

Im glad virgin got the LA/SFO service. (I would have preferred b6 launch the routes, but EWR growth is tough…)

Hopefully this can give Virgin a market where they can make money without too much competition. They need a bread and butter route, and EWR is much better than ultra-competitive JFK

gabeandino
Member

The better question is how long before Virgin starts selling Groupons out of EWR?

Don
Guest
I think VX starting EWR will be good for them and hopefully swing them to profitability next year. As for b6 going from BOS to Philly, I’m not so sure. If Southwest couldn’t make it work, as all the carriers before it, not sure if b6 can. Only thing that helps is that BOS is a base for them. And it’s nice to see the 4 to 5 times a day starting a city as opposed to their once or twice. IF they can make it work, I’m sure we will see MCO, FLL, and SJU after a year or… Read more »
gabeandino
Member

It should also be noted that B6 currently operates 4x a day between EWR and BOS (with E190s also) and it’s worked out fairly well for them. The key is the brand loyalty they’ve been able to cultivate in BOS.

Zack Rules
Guest

Worked out well enough for 6x daily this summer.

Zack Rules
Guest

Interesting that Virgin has cut growth but now finally goes into EWR. VX management said they had been trying to get into the market for years and implied it was the key to profitability but said the same thing about ORD. Incidentally, VX cut one frequency each from ORD and has cut elsewhere (BOS, PHL and IAD) to support new Newark service. But as with Chicago, I don’t think Newark will put them into the black.

sjcuser
Guest

I like B6 BOS – PHL. It will give US some competition and B6 has a great following at BOS. It would be a different story if B6 didn’t have their base/following in BOS.

I see VX’s decision to do SFO/LAX – EWR as yet another “glory” destination that will do little to help the airline. They need some niche markets without competition. There is no reason for anyone to fly VX because UA pretty much has their route map duplicated and UA’s network is much, much larger.

davidp627
Member
B6 added BOS-BWI about two years ago to an already crowded route. Everyone thought it would only be a matter of time before one of the airlines threw in the towel, but two years later they are all still flying it (16 nonstops daily). I have had the opportunity to fly B6 on that route and love the airline. I just wish they would add other nonstops from BWI. It looks they saw an opening with SWA pulling out of Philly and grabbed it. It will be interesting to see if they stop with BOS-PHI or try to add other… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

How does EWR differentiate itself? Is it basically just another NYC airport or does its cliental skew demographically in a way that’ll help VX?

davidp627
Member

The NY market is so large that it is really at another level in comparison to the rest of the U.S. EWR gets a substantial portion of the NYC business and leisure market and much of central and northern NJ (not inconsequential).

Brandyn
Guest

No one does well with the Boston to Philly route, but lets see how Jet Blue does. You never know.

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