JetBlue Airways is looking at launch service to Ecuador “right around the corner”, says chief executive Dave Barger.
The New York-based low-cost carrier is interested in flying to both Guayaquil and Quito, the latter of which opened a new airport in February 2013. Ecuador would be JetBlue’s third in South America after Colombia and Peru.
JetBlue’s primary South America gateway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport is the most likely launching point for any future flights to Ecuador.
No airlines fly between Fort Lauderdale and either Guayaquil and Quito, Innovata schedules show. However, American Airlines flies to both cities from nearby Miami International airport.
In addition, Spirit Airlines has authority for one-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to both Guayaquil and Quito via Bogota. The ultra low-cost carrier has yet to begin service due to poor slot times in the Colombian capital.
New markets in Latin America tend to “mature quickly” compared to new ones in the USA for JetBlue, says Barger.
The airline plans to increase capacity to Latin America by about 17% and at Fort Lauderdale airport by about 15% in 2014 compared to a year earlier.
JetBlue will begin new service to Cartagena, Jacksonville, Las Vegas and Pittsburgh from Fort Lauderdale from 29 October.