JetBlue Airways is to introduce a second route to Pittsburgh International Airport this winter as part of a continued network growth at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The new daily Florida link will launch from October 29, 2014 and will complement JetBlue's existing route from Pittsburgh to Boston Logan International Airport.
JetBlue currently operates 26 non-stop routes out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, with five more new routes already announced to begin this year or in 2015. On May 1, 2014 JetBlue will add three new non-stop routes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to Montego Bay (Jamaica), Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic). Next year, the airline also intends to launch a non-stop domestic route to Albany, NY.
The new Pittsburgh – Fort Lauderdale route will increase the flight options in and out of Florida for those in Allegheny County and will bring competition to the existing at least daily Southwest Airlines offering on the route. The low-cost carrier launched its own branded operations in November 2013 inheriting the link from its sister carrier AirTran Airways. In the past ten years US Airways has also served the Pittsburgh – Fort Lauderdale market but ended its own operations in January 2009 shortly after AirTran moved from a seasonal to year-round schedule.
"Pittsburghers have asked for a non-stop, year-round connection to Florida. With the introduction of this service, customers will not only save time, but also save money as this is traditionally a high-fare route. Besides access to South Florida, this will also meet the great demand for travels onwards to the Caribbean and Latin America," said Robin Hayes, president, JetBlue Airways.
In our analysis below we look at bi-directional O&D passenger demand between Pittsburgh and Florida over the past ten years, a market that has seen some ups and downs during the period as airlines have adjusted capacity, but has grown by 15.3 per cent since 2003. This market was previously dominated by US Airways but its network reductions at Pittsburgh through the 2000s mean that Southwest Airlines and its sister venture AirTran Airways now hold the strongest position with a combined 69.9 per cent share of O&D demand in 2013, a year US Airways slipped to fourth largest operator behind Delta Air Lines.