The FINANCIAL — JetBlue on April 25 announced it is advancing its West Coast strategy following its successful Mint expansion in new markets like San Diego, Las Vegas and Seattle over the past year.
The latest series of network enhancements is designed to better meet the needs of coast-to-coast travelers facing limited competition and – with the most legroom in coach, unlimited free snacks and complimentary Fly-Fi high-speed Internet, live television and movies – plays to JetBlue’s strength as a favorite choice for transcontinental travel, according to JetBlue.
The enhancements bring a number of schedule changes in 2018:
Launching JetBlue service in Ontario, Calif., Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Bozeman, Mont.
Refining its Long Beach, Calif. schedule to better meet the needs of the market.
Increasing service in Burbank, Calif.
Adding frequencies on popular cross-country routes.
Expanding seasonal service in Palm Springs, Calif., along with Mint for the holiday season.
In addition to supporting the airline’s West Coast strategy, the schedule enhancements grow the number of nonstop choices in JetBlue’s New York, Boston and Fort Lauderdale focus cities.
“We continue to focus on leveraging the popularity of our transcon service, which is producing excellent results for our business,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president, commercial and planning, JetBlue. “As we advance our West Coast strategy, we are bringing more flying options that our customers want and are growing our brand in hot new destinations that are thrilled to have JetBlue as a new option for travel.”
Earlier this week, as part of its broader West Coast strategy, JetBlue also announced a first-of-its-kind codeshare partnership with JetSuiteX, which provides JetBlue customers with access to flights operated by the semi-private charter company on a variety of West Coast routes.
Get Onboard in Ontario, Calif.
JetBlue will expand its L.A.-metro service with new nonstop flights between Ontario International Airport (ONT) and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). JetBlue, already a leader in transcontinental travel, will be the only airline to offer nonstop service to the East Coast from Ontario. Service begins September 5, 2018 and Ontario will be the 73rd nonstop JetBlue destination from New York-JFK. Seats are on sale today starting at $99 one way (a).
Ontario International Airport will become the tenth airport served in California by JetBlue and serves some six million people in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, as well as portions of Orange and Los Angeles counties. The Inland Empire has become one of the fastest growing metro areas in Southern California due to its affordable home prices, new construction, and a growing nightlife and cultural scene. The San Bernardino-Riverside-Ontario metro area is on track to grow by some two million people over the next three decades and Ontario International Airport has demonstrated it is committed to supporting that growth.
“The question we get most often is ‘when might JetBlue come to Ontario?’ So we are thrilled to say that that day has come,” said Alan D. Wapner, president, Ontario International Airport Authority. “JetBlue’s confidence in ONT as a gateway airport able to provide first-rate facilities and services is well-placed. We promise we won’t let them down.”
JetBlue previously served Ontario between 2000 and 2008 and is returning a decade later, encouraged by the surge in customer demand in the Inland Empire, as well as the airport’s leadership position on smart growth in Southern California. Ontario was originally JetBlue’s sixth overall destination and the very first on the West Coast.
Three New Routes in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
JetBlue will launch new, seasonal service in Steamboat Springs with three nonstop routes connecting the internationally-known resort destination with three of the airline’s focus cities. JetBlue flights between Steamboat and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Long Beach Airport (LGB) will begin December 15, 2018. JetBlue will be the only airline to fly nonstop from Steamboat to both Boston and South Florida.
JetBlue will operate at Steamboat/Hayden Airport (HDN), just 30 minutes from downtown Steamboat Springs. Steamboat’s unique mix of Champagne Powder®, cowboy boots and friendly locals lends an inviting, laid back atmosphere to the historic Colorado resort town, where western heritage meets abundant outdoor adventure.
“Recognizing the popularity of Steamboat as a destination for guests in New England and south Florida, the resort is thrilled to partner with JetBlue to provide nonstop access for skiers and riders in these markets, as well as Long Beach for West Coast vacationers,” said Rob Perlman, president and COO of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. “With these additional flights, Steamboat boasts the most robust winter air program of any mountain resort community in North America.”
Seats on all three new Steamboat Springs routes are on sale starting today starting at $149 from Boston, $159 from Fort Lauderdale and $129 from Long Beach one way (b).
JetBlue Meets Montana
JetBlue will also grow further in the western U.S. with its first-ever scheduled service in Montana. The airline will operate seasonal flights between Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) and Long Beach beginning December 13, 2018. Seats are on sale today starting at $139 one way (c).
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is among the busiest airports in the Northwest with more than 1.2 million travelers using the facility every year. It is the airport of choice for travelers bound for Bozeman, Big Sky and Southwest Montana, and serves as the year-round gateway to two Yellowstone National Park entrances.
“We are excited to see JetBlue bring their fantastic brand to Montana with the addition of service between Bozeman and Long Beach,” said Scott Humphrey, Deputy Airport Director.
Burbank Meets Boston
JetBlue will also add service at Hollywood Burbank Airport, where it has operated since 2005. JetBlue, already the only airline to offer cross-country service in Burbank, will add a second northeast destination with nonstop flights to Boston. JetBlue offers more nonstop routes between the Golden State and New England than any other airline.
Hollywood Burbank Airport is approximately 12 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles and is conveniently located near many of L.A.’s most popular tourist destinations, as well as attractions in nearby Glendale and Pasadena. Burbank has become an increasingly attractive Southern California gateway, experiencing double-digit percentage gains in travelers utilizing the convenient terminal over the past year.
Seats on the new Boston-Burbank route are on sale today starting at $139 (d).
In It For The Long Haul
JetBlue will also boost frequencies on several popular cross-country routes in California and beyond. In Burbank, JetBlue will build on the success of its existing New York-JFK flight with the addition of a second daily nonstop roundtrip on the route. The added New York-JFK flight will give customers on both ends of the transcon routes new daylight travel choices.
“We are pleased that JetBlue is renewing its commitment to Burbank by adding new nonstop daily service to Boston, and a second daily nonstop Burbank-New York-JFK flight,” said Frank Miller, executive director, Hollywood Burbank Airport. “This new service provides our passengers with more direct routes to popular East Coast destinations as well as East Coast passengers with additional nonstop service to Burbank, California, the media capital of the world.”
Elsewhere in the west, JetBlue is adding a second daily frequency between New York-JFK and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Scheduled as a daylight flight in both directions, this expanded service will also provide a valuable link between the airline’s home in New York and its Salt Lake Support Center (SSC). The SSC is home to nearly 2,500 customer support crewmembers.
In addition to adding Steamboat Springs and Bozeman flights in Long Beach, as well as introducing daylight Boston service, JetBlue will also adjust schedules at Long Beach Airport to better meet the needs of the market, offering up to 23 daily flights, which is in line with service levels offered by JetBlue in 2016.
JetBlue will revise flight frequencies on the following Long Beach routes starting September 5, 2018:
Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS) – Three times daily service.
Oakland International Airport (OAK) – Twice daily service.
Portland International Airport (PDX) – Once daily service.
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) – Up to three times daily service.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – Twice daily service.
San José International Airport (SJC) – Twice daily service.
Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA) – Once daily service.
JetBlue will continue to offer its current frequencies of nonstop service between Long Beach and New York-JFK, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Reno–Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and Sacramento International Airport (SMF).
“Revising our schedule allows us to offer customers new destinations, capitalize on our leadership position in transcontinental flying and advance our margin commitments in Long Beach where certain flying constraints have created challenges,” said St. George.
Palm Springs Season + More Mint
JetBlue is returning to Palm Springs for its fourth season with an expanded flying schedule, plus the airline’s premium Mint service during the peak December and January travel days. Flights between Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) and New York-JFK will resume this fall on October 10, 2018.
JetBlue service will initially operate four times per week – more than ever before for the early portion of the season – then expand to daily service in mid-December. JetBlue is the only airline to offer daily nonstop service between Palm Springs and the East Coast.
JetBlue’s Mint flights will be offered for the second year in Palm Springs between December 20, 2018 and January 3, 2019. Mint flights will operate on a daylight schedule in both directions during the 14-day holiday peak. JetBlue Mint offers a completely rethought design and a more personal approach to service, featuring exceptional hospitality from specially trained crewmembers, lie-flat seating, tapas-style menu by New York City restaurant Saxon + Parole, fresh espresso and exclusive amenity kits by Hayward and Hopper.
“For a fourth season, JetBlue will be bringing easy, nonstop access for our East Coast travelers, delivering visitors to our oasis feeling relaxed and pampered and ready to enjoy our perfect weather, outdoor adventure, world-class events and more,” said Scott White, President & CEO of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. “JetBlue’s continued commitment to successful Mint premium experience during this important flight period underscores the personalized service and luxury that defines both the airline and the visitor experience in Greater Palm Springs.”
Best in Cross-Country Comfort
JetBlue will operate all new flights – with the exception of Palm Springs Mint service – using its Airbus A320 aircraft offering the airline’s award-winning service featuring the most legroom in coach (e); free Fly-Fi, the fastest broadband internet in the sky (f); complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks; free, live DIRECTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio at every seat.
Palm Springs Mint flights will be operated using JetBlue’s new Airbus A321 with Mint aircraft featuring the airline’s new core experience for customers seated throughout the entire aircraft. Highlights of the A321 core interior include 10-inch television screens offering free entertainment, comfortable seats with the most legroom in coach and power outlets accessible to all customers.
JetBlue has positioned itself as the cross-country leader among U.S. airlines and serves more cities in California with nonstop service to both New York and Boston than any other airline. Transcontinental flights now make up roughly 15% of all JetBlue flying and have accounted for increased profitability for the airline.
Additionally, JetBlue has also grown its industry-leading Mint flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco, and recently introduced the premium flights to new western markets including San Diego, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Seattle.