Last updated: 09:15 AM ET, Fri April 29 2016

Could New Flights Stretch the 'JetBlue Effect' Up And Down The East Coast?

Airlines & Airports | Josh Lew | April 29, 2016

Could New Flights Stretch the 'JetBlue Effect' Up And Down The East Coast?

Photo courtesy of JetBlue

JetBlue announced a major addition to its route lineup on Thursday, as the New York-based airline will try to consolidate its positions in all three New York area airports while also adding new services to the destinations it currently serves in Florida. With the announcement comes a head-turning price tag: For a limited time, promotional fares will run as low as $49 one-way.

The most notable of these new additions is a route between New York LaGuardia and Boston Logan starting on Oct. 31. There will be six daily flights on each weekday, three flights on Sunday and two on Saturday. After the service takes off on Halloween, JetBlue will have flights from all three major New York City hubs to Boston Logan.

Tickets for the Logan flights are now on sale.   

This new addition makes sense for the airline. JetBlue has branded itself as “New York’s Hometown Airline,” a tag that we have heard more and more since Alaska Airlines won the auction to purchase Virgin America. 'Blue also has a large presence in Boston, so connecting these two cities makes a lot of sense, especially since New York-Boston is one of the country’s busiest routes, especially for business travelers. 

READ MORE: Why Losing the Virgin America Auction Was Good for JetBlue

JetBlue will also take advantage of the new FAA ruling about gate access to increase the frequency of its flights between Newark and Florida. The airline will be betting on five routes from Newark. It will add flights to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and Palm Beach. One daily frequency will be added to each destination except Fort Lauderdale, which will get two additional daily flights. 

All the Newark-Florida flights will take off on Oct. 30, but tickets will go on sale on May 1, with special introductory fares expected.

According to JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes, there is demand for multiple daily short flights between the Big Apple and Boston and also for more frequent service between Newark and Florida.  

“Increased competition in the congested New York market opens the door to better service and lower fares for our hometown New York customers. The FAA’s decision to ease slot restrictions at Newark allows us to bring more low-fare, award-winning service to Newark, and clears the way for a long overdue alternative between LaGuardia and Boston for those who have been priced out of air travel and onto the roads and rails by high-fare legacy carriers.”

READ MORE: Is JetBlue MINT Causing a Premium Cabin War?

Can fliers in New York, Boston and Florida expect lower fares across the board as other carriers scramble to compete? Given the high number of frequencies between LaGuardia and Boston and the fact that JetBlue now flies to Logan from all three NYC airports, there could be some sort of “JetBlue Effect” that would cause other airlines to lower their fares in order to compete. 

With such a strong position in the Northeast and along the East Coast, JetBlue could also be a little bit more attractive to international airlines that are looking for code-share and interlining partners in the U.S. 

JetBlue is not pausing to lick its wounds after its failed Virgin America takeover. Between this expansion announcement and the addition of its now-popular Mint class, the airline appears to be moving forward and looking to take a bigger piece out of the domestic market. 


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