US carrier JetBlue Airways has revealed its intent to serve Medellin, Colombia with the addition of daily non-stop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Jose Maria Cordova International Airport in the Colombian city. Flights using an Airbus A320 are tentatively scheduled to commence from June 2013, subject to government approval, with bookings expected to open in January next year.
Medellin, Colombia's second largest city and a vibrant commercial and cultural center, will be JetBlue's 79th destination and its third destination in the South American country. JetBlue also offers non-stop service between Bogota and Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida as well as direct services between Cartagena, host of next year’s Routes Americas forum, and New York's John F Kennedy International (JFK). Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean now make up almost one-third of JetBlue's route network.
"JetBlue's addition of non-stop service between Fort Lauderdale and Bogota earlier this year has performed so well that we're adding a second option for the Colombian community in South Florida," said John Checketts, director of route planning, JetBlue Airways. "We are thrilled to add our third Colombian city, Medellin. It is an amazing city, filled with tree-lined avenues and an interesting culture, and home to some of Colombia's most important businesses.”
JetBlue has developed a schedule that will accommodate the wide needs of its expected customer mix, whether they are visiting friends and relatives, travelling for business or just going for a 'bandeja paisa' in the flower city." In addition to point-to-point demand to South Florida, customers originating in Medellin will be able to conveniently connect onwards from Fort Lauderdale to other destinations in the US and the Caribbean including: Austin, Boston, Hartford, New York (JFK and LaGuardia), Newark, San Juan and Washington DC.
In 2011 an estimated 342,000 O&D passengers flew between Medellin and the US, including around 164,000 directly to/from the Florida area. Spirit Airlines already serves the Medellin – Fort Lauderdale market, a route it has been flying since March 2009. Approximately 37,000 O&D passengers flew on this route in the first nine months of this year, up 10.1 per cent on the same period of 2011.
With this new addition, JetBlue will serve 27 Latin American and Caribbean destinations in 2013, including: Aruba; The Bahamas (Nassau); Barbados; Bermuda; Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman); Colombia (Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena); Costa Rica (Liberia and San Jose); Dominican Republic (La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana, Santiago and Santo Domingo); Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay); Mexico (Cancun); Puerto Rico (Aguadilla, Ponce and San Juan); St Croix; St Lucia; St Maarten; St Thomas; and, Turks and Caicos (Providenciales).