JetBlue details markets for 2013 capacity plan

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New York-based JetBlue Airways expects to fly more than half of its 2013 capacity in Latin America, the Caribbean and Florida, as the airline continues to emphasise the growth potential of southbound flights.

The airline forecasts full-year capacity to grow by between 5.5% and 7.5% in 2013. Latin America and the Caribbean capacity will be up 10%, while Boston's available seat miles will be up 15%, says chief commercial officer Robin Hayes in an earnings call today.

Almost 30% of 2013's full-year capacity will be in Latin America and the Caribbean, says chief financial officer Mark Powers. Another 30% will be in Florida, another 30% will be in transcontinental flights and 5% will be in East Coast short haul routes, says Powers.

JetBlue's director of network planning John Checketts told Flightglobal last week that the airline believes there is strong potential in flights from Florida to the Caribbean and Latin America.

Hayes reiterates this point today, saying that JetBlue sees "significant amounts of opportunities" on southbound flights from Florida. He points out the low-cost structure of Fort Lauderdale airport, which gives it cost advantages over operating out of Miami. "It allows us to offer lower fares," says Hayes.

JetBlue will launch non-stop flights between Fort Lauderdale and Medellin in Colombia from June 2013. It will also add non-stop flights between Fort Lauderdale and San Jose, Costa Rica, during the same month.