PHILIPSBURG – Good news for airlift from Florida to St. Maarten as Jet Blue announced on Tuesday that it will start servicing several new routes including the much anticipated Ft. Lauderdale – St. Maarten route. This route will be an important one as it is expected to put pressure on ticket prices out of Miami and Orlando from competing carrier American Airlines which has kept airline fares at significantly higher levels post hurricane Irma.
USA Today reports:
“JetBlue Airways had a mix of good news and bad news for travelers on Tuesday.
The popular carrier, which has free Wi-Fi and live TV and serves trendy complimentary snacks, announced a major route overhaul, with five new routes and an additional two dozen flights between existing cities offset by the elimination of a dozen routes, including the end of service at Washington Dulles and Daytona Beach, Florida.
The new flights, which begin in early 2019:
- Fort Lauderdale to Guayaquil, Ecuador. The daily flights will be JetBlue’s second destination in Ecuador. The airline already serves Quito.
- Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix. The airline already offers nonstop flights between Phoenix and Boston.
- Boston to Rochester, New York. American Airlines already offers nonstop service on the route.
- Fort Lauderdale to St. Maarten in the Caribbean.
- Providence, Rhode Island, to West Palm Beach, Florida.
Cities being eliminated from JetBlue’s route map, beginning January 8, include:
- Washington, DC, Dulles: The airline will end its flights to New York JFK and Boston. The airline currently has three daily flights to Boston and two daily flights to New York. Dulles spokesman Andrew Trull notes that United offers daily service to Boston and Delta offers daily service to JFK. And JetBlue will continue service at Washington Reagan, with daily flights to 12 destinations.
- Daytona Beach, Fla.: The airport’s daily flight to and from New York JFK is ending.
- St. Croix, US Virgin Islands: The airport’s daily flight to and from San Juan, Puerto Rico is ending.
JetBlue said it is also eliminating several weak routes including:
- Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore
- Fort Lauderdale to Detroit
- Fort Lauderdale to Long Beach, California
- Fort Lauderdale to Pittsburgh
- Orlando to Baltimore
- San Juan, Puerto Rico to Santiago, Dominican Republic
In Portland, Maine, JetBlue is switching from year round service to New York JFK to summer-only service on January 7.
At the same time, JetBlue said it is adding more than two dozen flights on existing routes to and from Boston, New York, Hartford, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Westchster County, New York.
JetBlue President Joanna Geraghty said the changes are designed to boost the airline’s profits.
“We constantly review network performance and make adjustments to support our focus city strategy, which is about building up our key markets to be stronger and even more relevant to local travelers,” she said.”