JetBlue To Add 30 Domestic Routes Amid Leisure Travel Upswing

Credit: Rob Finlayson

JetBlue Airways will add 30 routes to its domestic network over the next few months in a bid to capitalize on a modest expected upswing in leisure travel demand. 

The new routes are largely focused on connecting passengers from the New York-area to beach and outdoor leisure destinations in Florida and the Western U.S. They will be added in three phases in July, August and October. 

Effective July 23, the first additions will see New York-based JetBlue introduce transcontinental service from Newark Liberty International Airport to Los Angeles and San Francisco, operated with Airbus A321s featuring Mint premium class. Other routes being launched include service from Newark to Charleston, South Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida; and from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth and Detroit. All but the A321 services will be operated using Airbus A320-200s configured with 120 seats in economy class and 42 in premium economy.

The planned New York-area buildup will continue on Aug. 6, with the introduction of service from Newark to Austin, Texas; Las Vegas; Phoenix; San Diego; and Sarasota, Florida. Other expected New York-area additions include routes from JFK to Minneapolis and service from New York LaGuardia Airport to Fort Myers and Tampa in Florida.

JetBlue also plans to build out its connectivity between Philadelphia (PHL) and Florida in August, adding flights to Orlando, Fort Myers, Palm Beach and Tampa, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Additions in October mainly will be point-to-point routes between Florida and non-hub cities such as Cleveland; Portland, Oregon; Providence, Rhode Island; and Seattle.

Including the new route announcements, JetBlue will operate more than half of its pre-COVID-19 schedule in July, positioning it somewhere in the middle of the U.S. carrier pack in terms of domestic flying, along with American Airlines (55%), Frontier Airlines (50-70%) and Southwest Airlines (65-75%). Delta Air Lines and United Airlines—both with large exposure to battered long-haul international markets—are each restoring less than 40% of their domestic schedule in July, while ULCCs Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines will resume close to 90%.

JetBlue will resume flying in July to nine markets where it suspended or temporarily consolidated service: Aguadilla and Ponce, Puerto Rico; Chicago O’Hare; Dallas/Fort Worth; Houston; Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; and Providence.

Ben Goldstein

Based in Boston, Ben covers advanced air mobility and is managing editor of Aviation Week Network’s AAM Report.