US carrier JetBlue Airways is to expand its network to a fourth destination in South America with the launch of a new service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Jorge Chavez International Airport in the Peruvian capital, Lima. The new route, which remains subject to government operating approval, will be operated on a daily basis from November 21, 2013 using an Airbus A320.
Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean now make up almost one-third of JetBlue's route network. In South America, JetBlue also offers non-stop service between Bogota and both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida, as well as non-stop service between Cartagena, Colombia and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The airline also announced non-stop service between Fort Lauderdale and Medellin, Colombia, set to begin in June 2013.
“JetBlue's low fares and award-winning service have worked very well between Florida and Latin America. With Lima, our first destination in Peru and the southernmost destination in the network, we are confident in our penetration of South America. When you look at Lima's wonderful offerings, including its rich culture, cuisine and great people, we believe both Florida and Lima residents will benefit greatly from the flight, whether visiting friends and relatives, vacationing or on business.”Scott Laurence
Vice President of Network Planning, JetBlue Airways
"JetBlue's low fares and award-winning service have worked very well between Florida and Latin America," said Scott Laurence, vice president of network planning, JetBlue Airways. "With Lima, our first destination in Peru and the southernmost destination in the network, we are confident in our penetration of South America.”
“When you look at Lima's wonderful offerings, including its rich culture, cuisine and great people, we believe both Florida and Lima residents will benefit greatly from the flight, whether visiting friends and relatives, vacationing or on business," he added.
The introduction of flights to Peru will put JetBlue in direct competition with Spirit Airlines which commenced its own flights between Fort Lauderdale and Lima in June 2007. This existing service was initially flown on a daily basis for the first two years of operation but has been cut to a weekly schedule for most of the year but the frequency is boosted to a daily schedule between June and August each year. In 2012 an estimated 14,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew on the route, while approximately a further 370,000 passengers made use of the flights of American Airlines, LAN Airlines and Avianca-TACA between Lima and Miami.
In addition to the non-stop offering to South Florida, JetBlue will also offer connectivity options onwards from Fort Lauderdale to other destinations in the United States and the Caribbean including: Boston, MA; New York (JFK, LaGuardia and White Plains); Newark, NJ; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Washington, DC (Reagan National). With the exception of the Florida links, Lima is currently connected via non-stop flights to seven other US destinations – Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Newark and San Francisco.
Elsewhere, JetBlue has revealed plans to further its activities from Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut with the introduction of a new winter seasonal service to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers and a year-round link to Tampa International Airport; both effective from October 24, 2013. The new services add to JetBlue's current flights from Bradley to including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, West Palm Beach and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
JetBlue first introduced flights from Bradley in November 2010 and this year is offering up to 420 flights per month providing up to 63,000 seats from the Connecticut gateway. It is the sole operator on two of its routes but competes on the two others with Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines offering links to Orlando and Southwest Airlines also flying to Fort Lauderdale. According to last year’s schedule data JetBlue was the fourth largest operator at Bradley behind Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways with a 6.1 per cent share of departures and 9.2 per cent of capacity.
According to Scott Laurence, the new flights are testament to the success of our existing Bradley service and the continued support of the community and the ease of which it is to work with the Connecticut Airport Authority. "It has become clear that JetBlue is Hartford-Springfield area carrier of choice and we're confident that southbound customers will continue to choose JetBlue's superior product and service over the rest, which includes new leather seats with plenty of room to stretch out, free entertainment at every seat and the best service in the skies," he added
JetBlue will also compete directly with Southwest Airlines on its two new routes with its rival offering a daily seasonal link to Fort Myers and a twice daily operation to Tampa. JetBlue will match Southwest on the Fort Myers route but will offer just a single daily rotation to Tampa. Both of the new routes will be operated using Airbus A320 equipment. In 2012 an estimated 88,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew between Hartford and Fort Myers, while approximately 216,000 flew between Hartford and Tampa.
The growth in Hartford continues JetBlue’s dramatic network development across the US and follows last month’s news that it will launch operations to Worcester, Massachusetts, its 80th city across its network. The airline will introduce daily flights from to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from November 7, 2013 using A320s. JetBlue has also announced a new twice daily link between Boston's Logan International Airport and Houston's William P. Hobby Airport from July 25, 2013; launched operations on April 22, 2013 between New York John F Kennedy International and Albuquerque, New Mexico and opened reservations for its new link from Chicago's O'Hare International to San Juan, which launches from November 20, 2013.