JetBlue launched flights to Atlanta earlier this year. They began flying from Boston to Atlanta, as they look to expand. The route began in March, flying five times a day. The flight, however, was also a strategic move to fight Delta, who has been expanding their presence at two major jetBlue hubs. jetBlue’s flight has been very successful, and they have decided to expand further into the Atlanta market.
New Atlanta Flights
As of March 8, 2018, the airline will begin flights to three new destinations. New York-JFK, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. For jetBlue, these three cities are also major operations bases. There flights will fly twice daily to New York and to Ft. Lauderdale. Orlando will be flown once daily. This is a major move for jetBlue in Atlanta, as they are doubling the number of daily flights they have out of the airport. With 10 daily flights, the airline is looking to offer its customers more options, as well as offer the people of Atlanta a new choice when they fly.
Although unspoken, jetBlue and Delta do not get along very well. For starters, they compete very strongly in New York and Boston. Delta has been expanding their operations in Orlando, by adding a flight to Amsterdam. But what I consider the biggest point of contention is their relationships to the Middle East Big 3. Delta (as well as the three other legacy US carriers) are opposed to the ME3’s expansion in the US. They argue that these airlines are government subsidized and are not competing fairly. It is worth noting that US airlines are also government protected by means of bankruptcy protection and the possibility of bailouts. jetBlue has been a strong proponent of the ME3. Emirates has a strong codeshare relationship with jetBlue. Emirates flies to Ft. Lauderdale instead of Miami to connect passengers on jetBlue flights. Out of New York, Boston and other cities jetBlue feeds passengers on Emirates’ flights.
This feud has reached the highest levels of government in the US, with airlines lobbying the President and Congress to vie in favor of them. The expansion in Atlanta is a double-whammy against Delta. Since jetBlue will be flying to JFK, BOS and MCO, Delta will need to compete more aggressively on those routes to keep its dominance.
I side very strongly with jetBlue and the ME3 on their arguments for US flights. jetBlue has also a very special place in my heart, as they are the only airline to have stayed in Puerto Rico as the crisis there worsened. I hope to see jetBlue expand further in Atlanta by adding a flight to Long Beach, their West Coast focus city, and one to San Juan. Delta will have to focus its efforts to combating jetBlue instead of lobbying in Congress, as jetBlue begins to up the ante in Boston and JFK with their Mint Business class.
What do you think? Are you planning on taking jetBlue flights to Atlanta? Will you switch from Delta to jetBlue once these flights are available? Let us know!
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H/T: USA Today