I must admit that JetBlue is doing some fairly uncharacteristic things lately, and that’s a good thing. It appears that the airline is beginning to evolve and today they took another step by announcing its first codeshare operation (Aer Lingus isn’t a codeshare) as well as summer service from JFK to Nantucket, a favorite summer vacation island off Boston.
So who is the codeshare with? Well none other than Cape Air. Of course, you know these guys. They’re the ones that are run by Joe and Brian. You know, the airline that Roy over at Aeromass is always trying to run out of business? Helen’s at the lunch counter, Antonio’s driving the cab. . . . Oh yeah, that’s just a tv show. Cape Air is actually a pretty cool not-so-little airline based outside of Boston.
If you take a look at their website, you’ll be amazed at how large they are. They have more than 50 Cessna 402 aircraft. Those little guys hold 9 passengers at best, so it’s a niche that most other airlines have grown out of. On their routes in the Caribbean, Florida, and Micronesia, they fly as Continental Connection. In their original New England markets, however, they’ve flown solo until now.
Beginning March 19, JetBlue and Cape Air customers will be able to take advantage of a codeshare that will connect JetBlue flights to Boston with Cape Air flights to Hyannis, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Provincetown, all in Massachusetts.
The partnership is a big deal for JetBlue, because involves codesharing, interline baggage, and frequent flier points redemption on another airline for the very first time. This certainly appears to be a test for the airline, and if it does well I’d expect to see more.
Sort of lost in the shuffle but still a nice move is the announcement that JetBlue will fly nonstop on Embraer 190s from New York/JFK to Nantucket from May 24 through September 24. They’re really going to take advantage of the summer season there, and it seems like a smart move. Personally, I’m still bitter that I didn’t win the limerick contest sponsored by Nantucket Airlines (owned by Cape Air), but I’m trying to forgive and move on.
This significantly enhances JetBlue’s position in Boston. I would imagine the other airlines are going to pay more attention now, if they hadn’t been already.