JetBlue cites strong bookings for new Montego Bay flights

Washington DC
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JetBlue CEO Dave Barger says the carrier is so far pleased with bookings for its latest Caribbean destination - Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The carrier plans to launch service from New York John F. Kennedy on 21 May with a 150-seat Airbus A320.

Barger gave his assessment of booking patterns during 10 March presentation at the JP Morgan Aviation and Transportation Conference. He told attendees JetBlue's strategy in Montego Bay would mirror its approach to other Caribbean destinations as the airline in the future expects to offer multiple flights in that market.

JetBlue broadened its footprint in Latin America with the 29 January launch of service from Orlando to Bogota, Colombia. Barger believes more than 50% of traffic in that market will originate in Colombia, but cited some challenges at the launch due to JetBlue not receiving licensing authority to sell exit tickets from Bogota "until close in".

Barger when queried about the potential for flights from Colombia to New York pointed the A320 "at altitude in Bogota to New York is not the right airplane". The A319 is "absolutely the right airplane" for that mission, he says, adding the A321 is the perfect aircraft for slot controlled airports.

As the carrier continues to build its international presence a buy-on-board food trial for selected flights that began on 28 January is scheduled to end on 31 March. Destinations included in the trial were JetBlue's JFK hub, Orlando, Long Beach and West Palm Beach. The products are only offered on the carrier's A320s.