JetBlue Add 30 Routes: A Play in Three Acts

JetBlue

Last week, JetBlue made the surprising announcement that it would add 30 new routes to its network. The surprise was not because JetBlue has had to pull back significantly due to its main focus cities being in the northeast but rather because JetBlue hasn’t shown any interest in trying to make bold network moves in some time. But is this really a bold move?

It feels like an act of desperation. Precisely because JetBlue has been hit so hard in New York and Boston, it has to throw darts at the wall to try to find something that will work. If it does work, then great. JetBlue has saved some more jobs when October 1 rolls around. If not, well, it’s worth a shot anyway, especially between now and October 1 when labor is basically free.

These changes fall into three categories, and I’ll discuss them all. Allow me to present JetBlue, The Play.

Act One: West Side Story

JetBlue loves to crow about how it’s New York’s hometown airline. That may be technically true since it is based in Long Island City, but it also requires ignoring that New Jersey exists.

JetBlue’s primary home at JFK is great for people on Long Island as well as those in Brooklyn. It’s no LaGuardia, but it’s not bad for people in Queens. Same goes for those on the east side of Manhattan. But for those on the west side of Manhattan and throughout northern New Jersey, JFK is far and inconvenient at the best of times.

JetBlue knew that JFK wouldn’t solve all its problems, so it expanded into LaGuardia, Westchester, Newburgh, and yes, Newark.

Newark service began in October 2005, but it was confined to flights to Florida and the Caribbean, the easiest markets around. In 2011, it added its only market outside the area when it started Boston, but that was more about the Boston focus city than New York.

While JetBlue kept a token presence, a lot was happening. Virgin America moved in and challenged United on transcon flights. Over time, Southwest, Allegiant, Spirit, and Frontier all moved in. Yet JetBlue just watched.

Now, JetBlue is going into the market in a much bigger way.

Blue is Mint starting July 23, Red is regular starting July 23, Green starts August 6
Newark map generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

The initial standouts here are LA and San Francisco. These markets are more business-focused, and by using its Mint flat bed product, JetBlue is certainly gunning for that traffic. But it’s also looking for high-end leisure and there’s plenty of that in these markets too. Since Alaska took over Virgin America, it has pulled back and pushed its First Class product down to more of a domestic-style product. This should push Alaska out entirely, if that airline is smart.

Remember how United said it was a mistake to leave JFK for transcon flights? Well, now JetBlue can do both while United still can’t.

The rest of these routes are a fight against United to try to grab as much leisure traffic as possible. JetBlue doesn’t have a recognition problem in New York, and that should make it easier to fill these airplanes. United may try to fight back, but then again, that may not be worth it, Mint flights excluded. With Southwest gone from the airport, JetBlue is the only tweener lying between United and the ULCCs, and United may very well prefer that.

Act Two: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Beyond Newark, JetBlue has tried to focus on its Florida strength. Flying from the northeast to Florida is the easiest way to make money in this business. COVID? Hurricanes? Florida Man? None of that matters. People will fly down to Florida no matter what.

Here’s what JetBlue is adding, outside the Newark flights.

Blue starts August 6, Red starts October 1
Florida map generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

There is a lot going on here, but the most notable add here is the decision to fly from Philly to four cities in Florida (plus San Juan) starting August 6. This market actually feels a lot like Newark. It’s a bottomless market where Southwest has failed to gain much traction — it used to serve 6 cities in Florida from Philly but now only serves Orlando more than daily with limited options to Ft Lauderdale and Tampa — and the ULCCs have started to move in. JetBlue again wants to be the tweener.

What exactly is American going to do? Worst case, American beefs up capacity and pushes hard to get JetBlue to fail. Not much will have been lost if that happens, but if it truly is a bottomless pit, then JetBlue will at least make its airplane productive.

The October 1 adds are a different animal. Outside of beefing up Florida focus cities with longer-haul flights (SF to Orlando and both Seattle and Portland to Ft Lauderdale), JetBlue is looking to send people from spots up north down into Florida. Most of these have ULCC competition, so JetBlue is trying to provide a higher level of service for the discriminating Providence traveler.

In general, these are big markets, and that’s important. JetBlue only wants to operate A320s here. It can fly lower fares with more seats full versus an Embraer 190, and it needs that, because these are going to be cheap fares.

Act Three: Anything Goes

Lastly, we have three oddball markets that I find perplexing. JetBlue has opted to go twice daily into three business markets from JFK that it has avoided for years:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth (July 23)
  • Detroit (July 23)
  • Minneapolis/St Paul (August 6)

What is the airline thinking? Well, it’s probably thinking:

  1. I have a lot of unused slots at JFK right now, and these have always been further down the list
  2. Are American and Delta really a position to try to punch me in the face right now?

This is the same rationale that it can use in Newark. If the big guys are too preoccupied, maybe JetBlue can get away with a couple of flights without much fight.

Then again, maybe not. But the only way to find out is to take a swing.

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40 comments on “JetBlue Add 30 Routes: A Play in Three Acts

  1. Austin lost all 10 nonstops to the New York Area during Covid (including the Southwest pullout from Newark). Jet Blue is starting up with great schedules Austin to Newark in August – I will be very happy to be on the first flight!

  2. The quarantines that several NE states just announced will impact JetBlue more than any other airline – just as they are trying to ramp up these new routes.

    A new survey says, on average, most Americans will not feel safe flying for more than 7 months.

    1. I’m cautiously optimistic about people feeling comfortable flying, at least for domestic routes, and presuming that there isn’t a massive “second wave” or extremely tight lockdowns and quarantines (i.e., those that are actually enforced, and not just empty words).

      Without trying to get into the politics of it or judge people… Thinking of the spectrum of feelings on COVID-19, at least among the people I know, there is a (generally rather vocal) minority of people who are VERY anxious and worried about COVID-19, still getting their groceries delivered and going out into public as little as possible, etc etc. It will take a lot to make those people feel comfortable using any form of public transportation, so in the short term they can almost be ignored from a air travel customer standpoint.

      I don’t know many people who are truly careless about COVID-19, but I do know a lot of people who aren’t in high-risk groups and who (while still taking basic precautions like washing hands, sanitizing things, wearing masks, etc) are eager to get out of the house, eat indoors in restaurants, and generally trying to adapt their lives to the new normal. Provided there aren’t any huge scares or cases that can be traced back to specific airports or flights, I think cheap fares and the desire for changes of scenery will increasingly tempt this group of people to travel by air for leisure, especially before the schools start back up again.

      The biggest questions my mind are when we’ll start to see a wave of large businesses loosening up the COVID-19 related travel restrictions, and the extent to which we’ll see demand (and capacity) restricted for the big Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday travel times.

      1. I agree with you and my personal circle has similar views/practices.
        As long as this thing keeps spreading, there will be people that will choose to remain on the sidelines. And it is also likely that businesses will encourage their people to stay home since there is no immunity from liability for disease exposure on a national level.
        and then you have the likely dynamic of a significant drawdown of leisure demand – all that exists right now – after Labor Day – when many people schools (not all) will reopen. People were couped up long enough that some had to get out but the level of demand that exists will not remain if it is only leisure based.
        It is also a mistake to argue that AA, DL and UA are the airlines of business travelers while AS B6 and WN are leisure airlines. All of the latter 3 carry high numbers of business travelers – that can easily be seen in the average fares each gets in some of its top routes.
        Also, it is clear that B6 and other carriers are heavily targeting AA and UA who they see as the most vulnerable financially; the largest number of markets are competitive with those two.
        The NE quarantines and the increase in cases mostly in the South might decrease the risk of a 2nd wave by exposing alot more people now but it also will push back recovery and likely keep business travelers from flying for the next three months if not longer.
        And B6′ expansion is dependent on some return to traffic growth. Adding new routes always requires the ability to grow a market; that is much harder to do in the midst of a pandemic that has decreased traffic to 20-25% of last year and even that level may fall or quit growing after summer.

        1. I dunno, first ever nonstopsb from Kennedy to DTW and MSP indicate that they are heavily targeting DL too.

          1. count the number of routes that B6 is adding in markets where another carrier is largest and the list is clearly targeted at AA and UA.

            Of course, market cancellations never make press releases but B6 is also dropping ATL-MCO so the net growth in DL markets is actually less than just about every other airline.

            1. Wait, I’m missing something here. Isn’t EWR considered a coterminal NYC airport? So, if B6 is adding what 10,…11,…whatever number of routes from the NYC market, isn’t B6 targeting the largest carriers in the whole of the market?

            2. @aaway
              your logic fails.

              If every airport in the NYC metro area had the same value then B6 would not be starting service at EWR.

              There are key distinctives between each of the 3 big NYC airports and the competitive environment is not the same at all.

              B6′ growth at EWR is targeted at UA while its DCA flights are targeted at AA, etc etc etc

  3. This is insane! The governors of FL, NY & NJ have put 2-week self isolation orders in place do to the pandemic as means to decrease travel between the states & reduce community spread.

    And yet Cranky you missed the biggest aviation story of all this week, the EU has put a ban on US travelers do to what else, our inability or our unwillingness to take the pandemic seriously & I cant say I blame them.

    1. SEAN – Just because I didn’t write about it here doesn’t mean I missed it.
      This has all been covered on Cranky Daily for subscribers there, but I don’t have much to add in terms of commentary to bother with a post here.
      Not much to say other than how badly this country has screwed up the response. It will hurt our ability to travel for some time (among other things).

      1. Sorry Lord Dima,

        While Cranky was focusing on JetBlue’s expansions, the EU banning US travelers do to our piss poor response to the pandemic was in my opinion a far more important story. But of course this being Cranky’s blog, he can publish what ever he wants.

  4. I saw EWR to CHS and thought that it’s too bad they didn’t do once weekly service to CAE instead in honor of the (not so) dear (thankfully) departed Jeff Smisek.

    1. Re category 3, if they are ever going to challenge fortress hubs like DTW, MSP and DFW in order to be a one stop shop for New Yorkers, why not try it now in this essentially no risk environment?

      1. Your calling this a “no risk environment?” There’s plenty of risk involved, but it’s not to one single airline. Rather the entire US aviation system could be upended do to the pandemic. But if JetBlue sees an opening, I understand why they would strike. Remember though we’re talking about Florida & Texas, two states where the virus is spreading like wildfire & the governors are playing fast & loose.

        1. I meant low risk environment in that labor is basically free until October 1 and they have available aircraft. So they can essentially run all of these flights for the cost of jet-A and some soft drinks and snacks.

    1. Angry Bob – I’d say if any airline files for bankruptcy, it’s bad news for the other airlines that don’t. It will make AA, UA, or whomever more competitive.

      1. except that didn’t happen the last time.
        AA was the last airline to enter chapter 11 and had the highest unit costs (CASM) going into bankruptcy and retook the title within mere years after emerging.

        The success of chapter 11 is whether companies cut the costs necessary to build a viable business for the long term. by all measures, AA simply did not do that.

        For AA to get costs down, they need to dramatically cut the number of employees they have and they don’t have to go into bankruptcy to do that.

        They also have an abundance of aircraft they don’t need which is much harder to pare down outside of bankruptcy.

        and, given that AA has recently secured several billion in funds via stock sales and debt, even at rates far higher than any other airline, their chances of filing for bankruptcy in the near term have fallen dramatically, even if the Treasury does not approve a loan to them.

        No other airline is at risk of bankruptcy this year given the amount of capital that has been raised.

        1. Tim. Are you seriously suggesting that American was a less effective competitor after bankruptcy? If an airline goes bankrupt, it makes it leaner and lowers costs. We all know you think American did a bad job at it, but you can’t argue that it was better positioned to compete than it was before it went through the bankruptcy spa.

          1. CF,
            I’m not talking about whether AA was more or less effective.

            I said and repeat that AA had higher costs going into bankruptcy and didn’t maintain its advantage from bankruptcy for more than two years. Their much lower profits is directly correlated to their higher costs.

            Going through bankruptcy doesn’t guarantee lower costs and getting lower costs does not require bankruptcy.

            The biggest reason why AA’s costs did not go down as much as it should have was because Parker was not willing to make the job cuts that other carriers did or get the efficiencies that other carriers – Southwest included, and they never have filed for bankruptcy.

            AA’s high debt load and their enormous interest expense are not going away outside of bankruptcy. Neither will their fleet expenses. They can cut employees outside of bankruptcy and that will be the biggest thing they can do to avoid a 2nd bankruptcy.

            The reason why B6 added as much as it did in AA and UA markets is because it sees those two as the most vulnerable. The couple of AS and DL routes it added in comparison are not because those two don’t operate routes that are attractive to B6 but because those two have the capacity to make it much more difficult for B6 than AA and UA can.

            btw, Parker said today that the likelihood of furloughs is higher than he previously thought it would be. Most of the rest of the aviation community knew that a long time ago.

          2. CF,
            “Are you seriously suggesting that American was a less effective competitor after bankruptcy? If an airline goes bankrupt, it makes it leaner and lowers costs. We all know you think American did a bad job at it, but you can’t argue that it was better positioned to compete than it was before it went through the bankruptcy spa.”

            Semantics. Depends on how you define “less effective” or “better positioned”. Rephrased as a potentially better question is whether or not there could’ve been a ‘better’ effective outcome after bankruptcy.

            While we can only speculate as to the competitiveness of recapitalized AA /AMR Corp., the record is clear with regard to what is now AAG. And right out of the gate – frankly, I’ve yet to see another airline industry bankruptcy where the represented employees were promised wage adjustments (raises) while in the midst of a bankruptcy process.

            In short – and what I’ve argued elsewhere – is that AMR keenly focused on costs as the guiding principle through the BK process. That’s a variable with which a company has some control, depending on how approached & aggressively pursued.

            AAG, as successor to AMR, decided that the combined girth of the merged entity could be supported on revenue generation. The flaw in that logic was the response of the wider marketplace and the ability of competitors to be more efficient or better revenue generators.

            Rarely have I agreed with World Traveler over the years. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the his points raised herein. But, I do agree with the general thrust of the thesis. Was AA better positioned to compete? Perhaps (hey, some say size matters….) Could AA have been better positioned to compete? Definitely.

            1. aaway – I think you’re missing the context here. Angry Bob originally asked “If AA and/or UA were to file for bankruptcy would that have any positive [sic] affect on B6?” My points remains the same. If AA or UA go into bankruptcy, they will come out as a bigger threat to JetBlue than before bankruptcy where costs were more bloated. This has nothing to do with whether something could have been done better or not.

            2. CF – aaway – I think you’re missing the context here. Angry Bob originally asked “If AA and/or UA were to file for bankruptcy would that have any positive [sic] affect on B6?” My points remains the same. If AA or UA go into bankruptcy, they will come out as a bigger threat to JetBlue than before bankruptcy where costs were more bloated. This has nothing to do with whether something could have been done better or not.

              Nevertheless, the tangent of that discussion delved elsewhere. Hence my response, which also remains the same.

  5. This move initially perplexed me and the jury is out whether it will be successful. I think this analysis might be missing part of what’s motivating JetBlue here. I get the sense they:

    1) Recognize United and American (and most of the ULCCs) have terrible brands, certainly worse than JetBlue, and;

    2) Believe customers will be more brand sensitive in the midst of the pandemic.

    I think this is why Alaska has added some of their new routes (PDX-DEN) as well. I might be off, but this is how I’ve made sense of it.

  6. Brett, do you happen to know if Mint and other lie-flat domestic products are able to bring in a revenue premium in the covid era? I’d think that belt tightening by businesses and individuals would favor lower cost offerings. Those Mint seats take up a ton of floor space. Alaska and JetBlue put similar numbers of economy seats aft of the exit row on a 321, but Blue has only 16 seats forward of it to Chester’s 40.

    1. Mint flights were among the most profitable flights in their entire network. JFK-LAX generated far and away the most profit of any route in their network. Alaska is just not competitive in these markets.

    2. Eric – I would think that Mint would be able to get a nice premium. People want more space right now, and we’re not talking about a ton of seats. So at least in the near term, it’ll be attractive. Forget about business travelers. I think it’s more about premium leisure at this point.

  7. I’m going to repeat what I said before. NYC airports will be wide open as a result of this pandemic. Someone apparently returned 70 JFK slots already. Most likely AA here. DL has been extremely slow adding back flights at LGA and JFK. UA has been extremely slow adding back flights at EWR. WN is nowhere to be found. AS is on the edge of giving up on Cali transcon market and these EWR adds probably will push them out of quite a few of them. Only NK and F9 are looking to add at EWR and I see F9 move at EWR as its typical hit & run strategy.

    At the same time, JetBlue is seeing VFR flights to DR/PR coming back at much faster than anything else. Transcon demand is coming back, especially in the premium market. Those are JetBlue’s most profitable markets. Florida demand came back also, but it has to battle a lot of capacity from other carriers in that market. It is also seeing extremely reduced demand in short haul business routes in Northeast, which means BOS business market flights will be way down for a while.

    So as a result of this, JetBlue is making a huge move in its focus from BOS to NYC. It has all the gates it needs at Boston and they are not going to be fully utilized as long as those short haul business market demand is minimal. It faces no pressure in a good chunk of those markets since DL is seeing the same weakness and not in a rush to get back into those markets. So since it faces no pressure in BOS and NYC is wide open, this is an once in a 2 decade opportunity for JetBlue to remake its position in the NY landscape.

    DFW/DTW/MSP adds are obvious. Those are the largest missing holes to its network out of JFK. I think CLT will be added back shortly too. After that, no more major domestic wholes out of JFK. They are also going to complete their international markets out of JFK the next couple of years with European flights and more Latin American markets (like the delayed stars of GEO/GUA). It’s never going to capture the business travelers that require frequency to within perimeter markets from LGA since it doesn’t have that many LGA slots. But these moves allow them to plug all the holes it has in NYC. It will allow them to keep and gain new ff and business travelers who don’t need frequency on the within perimeter stuff.

    The question is probably why it didn’t make these moves before? Well, the reason is due to lack of slots. Now that there are 70 JFK slots up for grabs, it can have a complete network out of JFK. It can bring back flights much quicker than DL because of its emphasis toward VFR, transcon and leisure flights, which are returning much sooner than TATL and short haul business markets that DL dominates. Another factor is the shrunken position of AA. Now, B6 can be a legitimate #3 in the New York market among ff. Before this, it was only relevant in the leisure and transcon markets. They are already back to 99 flights a day out of JFK by late July. They are going to be in a position to grab more slots by Q2 of next year to get ready for their new terminal.

    Depending on how quickly the slot waiver goes away, I think it will have a good chance of grabbing LGA slots that AA will inevitably have to give up.

    As for EWR, it performed just as well out of EWR as it did out of LGA/JFK when you compare the routes they all shared. Pre-COVID, they basically ran the same mini-focus city strategy out of both EWR and DCA. The performance out of EWR was light years ahead of DCA. It shows they have quite a lot of brand recognition and pricing power there, so EWR is easily the most profitable station they can build up.

    B6 was already expanding in EWR after WN left and with the T-1 opening. Now with COVID, UA capacity is way down, so FAA will no longer be able to deny new flights during rush hours. B6 can try to add as many flight at EWR before UA brings back its capacity. UA will be hampered as long as LH international and short haul business traffic is down. Again, all the markets B6 added are places it does well out of JFK, have good amount of leisure demand and are not legacy fortress hubs. They will be adding more flights like to Caribbeans and places like MSY/RDU/ACK over the next year, I think. Aside from PHX, all other markets look like places they will do extremely well. With these adds and other adds I mentioned in last sentence, this will put them over 60 flights a day out of EWR. They will be a legitimate 2nd carrier out of there. Any further additions out of EWR will be a matter of how much gate space they get and how quickly UA adds back its flights.

    For the PHL stuff, I think it’s an experiment to see whether or not it can be a future EWR. EWR worked because of their brand recognition in NY area. Now with the increased network out of EWR, they will have increasing brand recognition out of its catchment area which includes all of NJ and Eastern PA. Adding leisure to PHL allows them to not only consolidate their 2nd place position out of NJ, but also see if they can expand at PHL down the road. I don’t think they are likely to succeed here, but it’s a better idea than the other ones they came up with like focus city at BNA or LAS. AA is significantly weakened for a while. WN is not trying here. ULCCs are abundant, but there could be an opening for those who are looking to have better product at competitive pricing.

    As for all other Florida stuff, they are mostly just short term cash grab. There is a few like FLL-SEA/PDX/MCO-SFO that are logical network adds, but I’m not sure how many will stick around. They have spelt out their goal here is to expand their position in NY/NJ area at the expense of everywhere else, including Boston.

    Again, the reason they are able to do this is because Boston business market demand is way down and NY/NJ airport is no longer congested. They are facing no pressure anywhere in northeast. They don’t care if they lose out a little bit to NK/F9 in Florida. So, they are going on offensive in NY.

    1. Given the quarantine that is now in effect from multiple NE states, it is all a risky short-term gamble at cash generation that was dependent on summer travel which will be even slower in coming back.

      The point is revenue generation, not re-adding capacity. B6 was going to have to discount aggressively just to fill all of these new routes and even more so now. Labor Day is less than 2 months away after which Florida and leisure traffic always falls off.

      Let’s also keep in mind that they are taking a significant revenue hit, esp. in BOS but also in NYC. They carried plenty of high value travelers and those aren’t coming back for B6 any faster than they will for any other carrier.

      B6 is simply rearranging their routes to to cut markets that don’t work – where are all of their secondary west coast routes from BOS and JFK? – and instead trying to invade other carrier hubs that they perceive are weaker.

      They may or may not succeed in increasing revenue.

      1. I think those quarantine orders will simply amplify the troubles those sunbelt states are having. The best performing flights right now for B6 are those PR/DR flights from northeast. The more people feel good and safe about COVID in this area, the more they are likely to do VFR trips to PR/DR. The Florida ban will hurt ULCCs a lot more than JetBlue at this point. NK/F9 have staked their entire summer strategy around Orlando reopening and Florida demand. That’s about to blow up very quickly. And the quarantine for Texas and Arizona is going to really hurt AA and WN more than anyone else.

        At this point, it’s more important for JetBlue that NYC has COVID under control rather than some reduced demand to Florida.

        As for why they would get customers back quicker than UA/DL. It’s just simply due to VFR and leisure travel coming back sooner. All these leisure markets out of JFK, they are running flights entirely without any competition right now. The legacies are really making things easy for JetBlue.

        I think you are seeing JetBlue becoming more and more like legacy carrier. Less need to go into the secondary airports in west coast and more desire to consolidate at the large ones that bring in the cash. In northeast, they do P2P out of secondary airports, but that’s because they have brand recognition here. They don’t have it outside of northeast and Florida.

        As for demand falling off after labour day, i’m sure that’s going to happen. All the carriers are probably to stay steady in Sep/Oct. DL just said they likely won’t add any more flights for rest of the year. That’s great for JetBlue. But that also just signals DL is not seeing the demand coming back anytime soon. Especially with this recent surge in cases. I don’t think any of these challenges are unique to JetBlue or Delta.

  8. Slightly related to the post, but in reference to UA making the mistake of pulling out of JFK while B6 will serve both EWR and JFK, do you think UA would use the slot availability to get back into JFK? Not a time for anything that would lose more money, but wondering if long term they’d think it’s worth it.

    1. Mark – I don’t think the issue is one of slots but rather gate space.
      Considering that Terminal 7 is doomed with American partners moving into T8 with AA, it seems like there might not be an obvious space for UA. But of course if AA decided to pull back or… cuddle up with JetBlue… there could be something that opens up. You never know.

  9. UA pulled out of JFK because it was battling 3 other airlines – AA, B6 AND DL out of JFK and UA was the fourth largest of those four.

    Right or wrong, DL and UA knew what each other was doing when they first started talking about the slot swap. The Newark side of the slot swap fell through and then EWR lost full slot controls while the JFK side of the deal went through. UA will not get to unilaterally return to JFK without DL joining B6 in expanding at EWR.

    Not only is B6 coming to the EWR transcon markets but you can bet your bottom dollar that DL will increase its presence at EWR if UA decides they want to come back to JFK.

  10. I think UA leaving JFK was a mistake. It believed that no one will go into EWR to challenge them. It took a pandemic and WN leaving, but clearly B6 has room to expand now and really become a #2. JetBlue will fly to enough places, especially leisure spot, to attract ff. People in NJ have always complained that they have no choice but to fly UA. Now, JetBlue has given them a choice.

    It’d be interesting to see if AA and B6 gets together with some kind of partnership down the road. Clearly, AA has given up on JFK and their LGA will slowly become more of a outstation. It can only serve and maintain its ff in NY if it partners up with B6.

    What you are seeing here is that JetBlue has finally decided it has the resources to be a full time player in NYC. I’d expect them to get more LGA slots and start some business markets from there like ORD. There will be more within-perimeter flying out of JFK to use additional slots.

  11. B6 entering the EWR-LAX and EWR-SFO market is aimed at UA and will, if successful, push AS off the market at EWR. The B6 Mint cabin is competitive and even has some built in advantages if you have to fly and want to maximize social distancing. B6 smells blood at EWR in the form of UA COVID19 cuts that will likely become permanent. At JFK, B6 already ate AA’s domestic and Caribbean traffic long ago and is poised to finish off what’s left of AA there and sees DL retrenching as an opportunity. But this is all desperate moves too. B6 is not immune to the downturn ad if Florida’s COVID19 fiasco balloons further, it will be a gut punch to B6’s bread and butter routes out of JFK, LGA, and EWR. A prolonged industry downturn will most likely result in B6 and AS ending up within one of the US4.

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