MIAMI — JetBlue Airways will soon add three new routes from Atlanta. The new routes will be to Fort Lauderdale, New York-JFK, and Orlando. JetBlue already serves Boston from Atlanta five times daily.
Although the company has not made the announcement via press release, Airways has been able to confirm these new routes based on mock bookings from the JetBlue website.
All three routes will begin on March 8th, 2018. JetBlue will operate the New York and Fort Lauderdale flights twice daily and Orlando once daily.
“We are excited to bring our award-winning service and low fares to even more markets from Atlanta,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “Customers flying between Boston and Atlanta have shown a strong appetite for a competitive option like JetBlue, and we anticipate we’ll see the same for the New York, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando routes.”
After announcing their intention to reenter the Atlanta market in September of 2016, JetBlue had planned on operating these four routes (including Boston) from the world’s most traveled airport.
At the time, the airline said “Boston travelers have spoken, and we are listening by adding Atlanta to our route map and expanding our operation to 200 peak day departures,” Marty St. George, JetBlue’s commercial and planning, chief, says in a statement. “After decades of being underserved by high-fare legacy carriers, Boston has an airline that is committed to offering the best service and most nonstop destinations of any other airline.”
What ensued was part turmoil and part public spectacle between JetBlue and the Atlanta Airport. On one side, JetBlue believed they were promised priority gate space located at Atlanta’s concourse E. On the other side, the Atlanta Airport believed no promises were made and the airline would have to fly out of the undesirable concourse D.
At the time of the announcement, David Clark, JetBlue’s vice president of network planning, said the Atlanta route “is currently overpriced and [suffers] from insufficient competition.” Airport spokesman Reese McCranie welcomed the new carrier, stating that JetBlue’s letter of intent “underscores our commitment to attracting new service to Atlanta and increasing competition.”
JetBlue announced their long-term intentions would require two gates for sixteen daily flights. Instead, JetBlue only received one gate located adjacent to ULCCs including Frontier and Spirit.
At this time it is unclear if JetBlue has been able to secure a second gate or if the new routes have been announced to force the Atlanta Airport to lay its hand.
Airways has asked JetBlue to confirm the new routes.