JetBlue Lands in Philadelphia with new Boston Link

US low-fare carrier JetBlue Airways is to end US Airways’ monopoly between Boston and Philadelphia with the introduction of its own daily service between the two US cities, its first scheduled link into Philadelphia International Airport. The US carrier will offer a five times daily link from Boston’s Logan International Airport from May 23, 2013 using an Embraer 190.

"JetBlue offers an exciting, customer-friendly experience to air travelers, and we are confident that the traveling public in the Philadelphia region will enthusiastically embrace JetBlue's excellent service to Boston,” said Mark Gale, chief executive officer, Philadelphia International Airport.  “This is yet another great option in low-cost airlines at Philadelphia International, helping to stimulate competition and promote lower fares."

This route has been dominated through the past decades by US Airways due to its hub operations at Philadelphia International Airport, but other US carriers such as American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Eastern Airlines and Northwest Airlines have also provided regular services in competition.  The most recent competition came from AirTran Airways which served the route between May 2003 and November 2007, Delta Air Lines which returned to the market in November 2007 and served the route until July 2009 and Southwest Airlines which flew between June 2010 and February 2012.

In May 2013 when JetBlue enters this market, US Airways is scheduled to offer up to 19 flights per day on the route flown by a mix of mainline Airbus 319 and Embraer 190 equipment and smaller E170s of regional partner Republic Airline. 

"Five JetBlue flights every day definitely beats a long drive, or the current air alternative," said Scott Laurence, vice president of network planning, JetBlue Airways.  "We're pairing this convenient business schedule with fares accessible to all."  In 2011 an estimated 442,000 O&D passengers flew between Boston Logan and Philadelphia International with US airways holding a 55 per cent share of this traffic. 

Interestingly, despite being a new market entrant Southwest Airlines had a 30 per cent share of the O&D demand that year, thanks in a big part to stimulated demand from its low fares, which at an average 44 per cent the rate being charged by US Airways, helped grow the market by 133.80 per cent in a two year period after it inaugurated services.

For JetBlue the new route announcement represents the continuation of its own development at Boston Logan.  It has added an average of five new destinations per year from its focus city since service first launched in 2004, and now serves more cities than any other airline in Logan's entire history as an airport. In the past year alone, the airline has added nonstop service from Boston to Dallas, Texas; Grand Cayman; St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; and Nantucket, Massachusetts, with plans to serve Charleston, South Carolina in early 2013.

In the table below we highlight airline operations at Boston Logan over the past couple of years and how this compares with 2003, the year before JetBlue launched services from the airport.  The analysis shows and how the carrier’s network growth has seen it increase its market share to 23.5 per cent of the seat capacity this month.  Although it has grown rapidly and become the prominent carrier at Boston Logan, total seat capacity increased by around 9.3 per cent between 2003 and 2012, meaning part of JetBlue’s growth has certainly come at the expense of rival carriers. 

SCHEDULED AIR CAPACITY FROM BOSTON LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (annual non-stop departures)

Rank

Destination

Seat Capacity 2012

% Total 2012

% Total 2011

% Total 2010

% Total 2003

1

JetBlue Airways (B6)

4,343,200

23.5 %

21.2 %

18.3 %

No Services

2

Delta Air Lines (DL)

2,038,425

11.0 %

12.0 %

12.8 %

13.2 %

3

American Airlines (AA)

2,018,236

10.9 %

10.0 %

11.4 %

17.9 %

4

United Airlines (UA)

1,888,713

10.2 %

6.6 %

7.2 %

7.1 %

5

US Airways (US)

1,220,098

6.6 %

6.4 %

6.6 %

9.3 %

6

US Airways Shuttle (US)

1,080,224

5.9 %

5.7 %

6.0 %

6.3 %

7

Southwest Airlines (WN)

914,313

5.0 %

6.7 %

5.4 %

No Services

8

AirTran Airways (FL)

663,385

3.6 %

4.2 %

4.6 %

3.1 %

9

Air Canada (AC)

371,502

2.0 %

1.3 %

0.8 %

2.1 %

10

Shuttle America (S5)

309,068

1.7 %

0.4 %

0.4 %

No Services

TOTAL (Seat Capacity)

18,462,981

19,090,092

18,297,783

16,893,974

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