JetBlue Ends 17 Pandemic Routes
- Virgin Atlantic is the latest to pile into Austin. The British carrier will launch four-times weekly service between London Heathrow and the Texas capital with a Boeing 787-9 on May 25. Austin has been a pandemic network winner with dozens of new routes from the likes of American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and JetBlue Airways. And Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner and a major shareholder, considers the city a “focus city” with all of the nebulous benefits that entails.
- Speaking of Delta focus cities, President Glen Hauentstein, during a webinar with pilots late last year, said that Cincinnati remains a focus city for the airline. His comments come nearly nine months after he named only Austin and Raleigh-Durham as remaining focus cities as Delta emerges from the pandemic. Nashville and San Jose, Calif., remain culled from its pre-crisis focus city list.
- Avianca is moving ahead with plans to launch 50 new routes by 2023 with two new routes from March. The Star Alliance carrier will connect Cartagena and New York JFK from March 28, and Medellin and Orlando from March 29. In addition, Avianca will resume Cartagena-Miami flights on March 27. Avianca previously flew JFK-Cartagena in 2019, according to Cirium schedules.
- British Airways is adding four new seasonal routes at close-in London City airport beginning as soon as March. The Oneworld carrier will connect London City with Luxembourg and Milan Malpensa from March 27 through October 29; and with Barcelona and Thessaloniki from June 19 through September 4. The new Malpensa flight will replace ones between London City and Milan Linate. All of the routes will be operated with Embraer E190 jets.
- It’s been an open question how many of the new routes launched during the pandemic scramble for cash will stick around. The answer is in from JetBlue, and it’s not as many as initially thought. The New York-based carrier will end 17 routes — most launched during the pandemic — this spring. Newark, which has been viewed as a pandemic winner in JetBlue’s network, will lose five routes: Antigua, Barbados, Cartagena, Port-au-Prince, and St. Thomas. Also gone are flights between Cancun to Las Vegas, Sacramento, and San Francisco; Fort Lauderdale to Bozeman and Palm Springs; and San Juan to Philadelphia and Raleigh-Durham. A JetBlue spokesperson said that the changes are being made as travelers continue to return, and the airline is redeploying aircraft to “areas of our network that hold the most strength and relevance to our network strategy in the long term.”