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JetBlue to cut some routes after judge bars Spirit purchase

by SuperiorInvest

The JetBlue delivery area at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on October 31, 2023.

Leslie Josephs/CNBC

JetBlue Airways told staff this week that it will cut some routes and services as it struggles to return to profitability and deals with the fallout from its blocked purchase plan. Spiritual airlines.

JetBlue said it will stop flying from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Portland, Oregon, and to San Jose, California, and from Westchester, New York, and Martha’s Vineyard, according to an internal memo, which was reviewed by CNBC. The airline will also suspend service from New York to Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in October.

“We can’t fly where we would like, so we must be very selective about where we point our aircraft to make a profit, support our overall network strategy, and provide reliable operation,” wrote Dave Jehn, vice president. president of network planning and airline associations, in a note to staff.

Instead, the airline is focusing on leisure routes, adding service throughout the Caribbean and to Paris, according to the memo.

JetBlue will also depart from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Jehn said. He added that the airline will “provide a number of options in the future” to staff there. The airline said it would continue to serve the area from Washington, DC.

Jehn said the changes were in the works for nearly a month, before the court decision that blocked JetBlue’s planned $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit on antitrust grounds. Judge William Young’s opinion only blocks the merger the companies agreed to in July 2022, not a different proposed combination, should the airlines take that route.

JetBlue said in a statement that the changes were “in no way related” to the judge’s decision.

“We are constantly adjusting our network to support our strategy and these recent changes are a necessary quick step to help our business return to profitability,” JetBlue said. “All recently included routes have exceeded our expectations and these changes come as patterns of post-COVID travel. continue to evolve.”

JetBlue also said it is trying to improve its reliability.

“By eliminating some of our least in-demand flights, we will give our operation more breathing room as we plan for air traffic control challenges in the Northeast,” the company said.

JetBlue ranked ninth in on-time arrivals among U.S. airlines in the first 10 months of 2023, according to the Department of Transportation.

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