JetBlue Airways will no longer launch planned service from Los Angeles to Mexico City, and will instead use previously acquired Mexico City slots for Boston and New York John F Kennedy.
The New York-based airline, who notified US regulators of the change, says it plans to begin the Mexico City flights from Boston and New York JFK on 25 October. The routes are subject to government approval.
"After careful evaluation of our focus cities we determined that New York-JFK and Boston would be the most relevant routes for our expanded Mexico City service, and the ones that will most benefit JetBlue customers," says a JetBlue spokesperson.
The airline already operates to the Mexican capital from Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
JetBlue was among several US and Mexican carriers granted slots at congested Mexico City airport in 2017, after the US Department of Transportation forced Aeromexico and Delta Air Lines to divest them as a condition for approving the two airlines' immunised joint venture.
JetBlue, which received six slot pairs, had initially planned to use two of them for service to Mexico City from its focus city operations at Long Beach. However, it failed to win Long Beach city council approval for international flights to launch at the airport. It then notified US regulators that it will begin flights from Los Angeles - service that will now go to Boston and New York instead.
If the airline had gone ahead with Los Angeles-Mexico City, it would have become the eighth carrier offering nonstop service on the route. Mexican low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus has also indicated plans to start flights in that market.
JetBlue will compete against four airlines on service between New York JFK and Mexico City, FlightGlobal schedules data show: Aeromexico, Delta Air Lines, Interjet and Volaris. United Airlines also operates from Newark to Mexico City. JetBlue's planned service on Boston-Mexico City will end Aeromexico's monopoly on that route.
Separately, JetBlue will begin planned service between Boston and Havana on 10 November. It will operate weekly service on Saturdays. On 11 November, JetBlue will begin six additional weekly frequencies between Fort Lauderdale and Havana, offering 19-times weekly service on the route or up to thrice daily service.
The additional Cuban service was made possible with frequencies the airline secured from US regulators in recent months.
JetBlue will operate the Mexico City and Havana service with Airbus A320 aircraft.