American and JetBlue Unveil 30 New Routes Under Controversial Alliance
Even as competitive concerns swirl and unions balk, American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are wasting no time launching their new quasi-joint venture. The carriers unveiled 30 new routes from Boston and New York on Thursday with start dates between June and September.
American will connect Boston and Asheville, Jackson Hole, Traverse City and Wilmington, N.C., seasonally from June 5, and Columbus year-round from August 17. New York JFK will gain new flights to Bogotá, Cali, Medellin in Colombia, and Santiago, Chile, from May 6; and to Orange County from June 2. And from New York LaGuardia it will seasonal service to Key West, Myrtle Beach, Pensacola, Rapid City and Savannah in early June, and year-round service to Kansas City on September 8.
JetBlue is living up to its ambitious growth plans at LaGuardia and Newark. It plans three new routes between LaGuardia and Charleston, S.C., Denver and Martha’s Vineyard. At Newark, it will take United Airlines head on with 11 new routes to Antigua, Aguadilla, Cartagena, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Port-au-Prince, Puerto Plata, Seattle-Tacoma, St. Lucia, and St. Thomas. All of the new services begin July 1 with the Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Seattle flights operating seasonally.
In addition to the routes, American and JetBlue will implement coordinated schedules between the New York and Boston, Los Angeles and South Florida, and between Boston and both South Florida and Washington, D.C., in April.
Both airlines say this is just the first round of alliance changes. Coordinated schedules are planned for flights between Boston and both Los Angeles and Chicago; and New York and Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Raleigh-Durham and San Francisco by this summer.
- Allegiant Air was not joking when its CEO said it was “step on the gas.” The discounter will add two more new routes in June: St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., to Portsmouth, N.H., from June 2, and Pittsburgh to Key West from June 3. In addition, Allegiant will extend planned temporary service between Punta Gorda, Fla., and Rapid City, S.D., to regular status with flights from June 2.
- Airlines continue to look to the Great Outdoors for new routes this summer. Separate from its northeast additions, American will launch new service to Eureka-Arcata, Calif., and Idaho Falls, Idaho, and add new routes to Bozeman and Missoula, Mont., and Grand Junction, Colo., in June. The carrier will connect Dallas/Fort Worth and Idaho Falls; Phoenix and Bozeman, Eureka and Idaho Falls; and Los Angeles and Missoula on June 3. Two days later, it will connect Los Angeles and Grand Junction. Eureka and Idaho Falls are a throwback for American, which served both cities in the early 1990s.
- One if by land, two if by sea, six if by air? United Airlines is the latest to pile into the red hot Boston-London market. The Star Alliance carrier plans daily service between New England city and Heathrow airport with a Boeing 767-300ER later in 2021. The news comes as JetBlue moves towards launching its inaugural transatlantic foray to London from Boston and New York by fall. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly the route, and American and Delta Air Lines are due to resume flights by May.
- Fresh off its voluntary administration restructuring, Virgin Australia plans two new domestic routes for the Easter holidays. The carrier will connect Adelaide and Sunshine Coast four-times weekly, and Melbourne and Byron Bay six-times weekly from March 29 to April 25.
- Canada’s new travel restrictions are hitting air service hard. Following on Air Canada‘s heels, the country’s second largest carrier WestJet will suspend flights to St. John’s, London, Ont., Lloydminster and Medicine Hat from March 9 to June 24.
— Edward Russell