JetBlue Airways will add three new US destinations and cut a third of its flights out of its Long Beach focus city, as it adjusts its West Coast strategy.
The New York-based airline will go down to 23 daily flights at Long Beach, from 35 daily currently, FlightGlobal schedules data shows.
It will cut frequencies on seven routes, slashing schedules by 13 daily flights, data show.
"It's important that we focus on our strengths and adjustments that aren’t working," said Robin Hayes, chief executive of JetBlue, in response to analyst questions on the carrier's Los Angeles area growth strategy during a call on 24 April.
JetBlue is the dominant airline at Long Beach, and had planned to begin international service from the airport but saw its hopes dashed in early 2017 when the city council voted down its plan for the airport to open to overseas flights.
"Revising our schedule allows us to offer customers new destinations, capitalise on our leadership position in transcontinental flying and advance our margin commitments in Long Beach where certain flying constraints have created challenges," says Marty St George, the airline's executive vice president, commercial and planning.
The cuts at Long Beach will be partially offset by new routes planned by JetBlue elsewhere. It will resume year-round service at Ontario (California), and begin seasonal flights to Bozeman (Montana) and Steamboat Springs (Colorado).
Ontario will receive daily nonstop service to New York John F Kennedy from 5 September, becoming the 73rd destination in JetBlue's network and its 10th in California. JetBlue will be the only airline operating nonstop between Ontario and New York JFK, although United Airlines offers indirect competition through service between Orange County and Newark, FlightGlobal schedules data show.
The carrier previously served Ontario between 2000 and 2008 and is returning because it is "encouraged by the surge in customer demand", says the airline.
At Steamboat Springs, JetBlue will begin seasonal service to its focus cities at Boston, Fort Lauderdale and Long Beach from 15 December. It will operate twice weekly to Boston and Long Beach, and Saturday-only service to Fort Lauderdale.
Bozeman will get seasonal service to Long Beach from 13 December, with flights operating twice weekly.
Separately, JetBlue will add a new daily route between Burbank and Boston from 5 September and a second daily flight between Burbank and New York JFK on the same day. JetBlue, which will be the only airline serving Burbank from Boston, already operates to Boston from Los Angeles, the larger airport that Burbank is an alternative to. American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United also operate on that route.
Two other routes will receive additional frequencies from JetBlue from 5 September: both Boston-Long Beach and New York-Salt Lake City will double to twice daily from 5 September.
In addition, JetBlue will resume sesonal service at Palm Springs with flights to New York JFK on 10 October. The carrier will operate four-times a week initially before growing to daily service in mid-December. It will offer its Mint premium service, offered on its Airbus A321s, during the peak travel season from 20 December to 3 January 2019.
Source: Cirium Dashboard