JetBlue to withdraw from five markets

Washington DC
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JetBlue Airways will cease flights on five routes to free up aircraft for its new routes from Washington National airport.

The New York-based carrier says it will exit four year-round markets: Palm Beach-San Juan, San Francisco-Austin, Oakland-Washington Dulles and Long Beach-Washington Dulles. It will also stop flying on the seasonal route between Buffalo and Fort Myers.

The last flights on the San Juan, Austin and Oakland routes will be operated on 16 June, while JetBlue will last operate between Dulles and Long Beach on 2 September. JetBlue will not resume the seasonal Buffalo-Fort Myers flights in November.

"Ending these flights will free up aircraft to operate the new DCA flights," says an airline spokesperson. "Closing routes is not an easy decision, but the aircraft made available in this case will allow us to take advantage of growth opportunities at DCA made possible by our recent slot acquisition."

JetBlue, which won 12 slot pairs at Washington National that were divested by American Airlines, announced earlier this month that it would use half of those slots for service to Charleston, Hartford, and Nassau from 19 June. It will also add a second daily flight to Tampa from 2 July.

It said it will announce later this year details of additional flights to be operated with the rest of the slots.

JetBlue is the only carrier operating on Palm Beach-San Juan, Oakland-Washington Dulles and Long Beach-Washington Dulles, schedules in Innovata show. United Airlines and Virgin America offer service between San Francisco and Austin, while Southwest Airlines also operates non-stop between Buffalo and Fort Myers.