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JetBlue is cutting unprofitable routes and leaving 5 cities

by Staff

JetBlue Airways is eliminating a number of unprofitable routes to destinations in the U.S. and overseas as it moves to cut costs after a judge blocked its $3.8 billion bid for Spirit Airlines earlier this year.

The airline will also completely exit Kansas City, Missouri, and Newburgh, New York.

In a statement to CBS News, the airline said its removal of certain routes will reduce “the chance of delays for our customers.” The cuts will also free up aircraft to fly more profitable routes. 

JetBlue also cited limited aircraft as a driver of the route cuts. About a dozen Airbus aircraft remain grounded over issues with their Pratt & Whitney engines, which are currently undergoing inspection.

“These moves will allow us to redeploy our fleet to increase frequencies on well-performing routes from JetBlue’s focus cities while continuing to increase crucial ground time for our aircraft, reducing the chance of delays for our customers,” Dave Jehn, JetBlue’s vice president of network planning and airline partnerships, said in an internal memo viewed by CBS News. “The changes will also help us during a time when aircraft availability is limited — particularly with some of our aircraft grounded due to Pratt & Whitney GTF engine inspections.”


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In addition to exiting two U.S. cities, the airline will also leave Bogotá, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; and Lima, Peru.

“With less aircraft time available and the need to improve our financial performance, more than ever, every route has to earn its right to stay in the network,” Jehn added.

JetBlue is trimming its route network after scrapping the carriers’ proposed deal for Spirit earlier this month following pushback by federal antitrust enforcers. A federal judge in January ruled that the acquisition would weaken competition by eliminating a major discount airline, potentially leading to higher airfares for travelers. 

That setback thwarted JetBlue’s plans to expand service in key hubs, according to Jehn. In Los Angeles, for instance, JetBlue plans to pare back to 24 flights per day, down from roughly 34, he noted in his memo. “[W]ithout aircraft time and gates available to grow organically, we need to refocus,” he wrote.

Here are the routes JetBlue is cutting in June

  • Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, to Tampa, Fla.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Atlanta, Ga.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Austin, Texas
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Nashville, Tenn.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to New Orleans, La.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,  to Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Los Angeles to Cancun, Mexico
  • Los Angeles to Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles to Liberia
  • Los Angeles to Miami
  • Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Los Angeles to Reno, Nev.
  • Los Angeles to San Francisco
  • Los Angeles to Seattle 
  • New York/JFK to Detroit  
  • Orlando to Salt Lake City, Utah

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