NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) today announced that, building on its successful charter service, the airline has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for commercial air service on multiple routes between the U.S. and Cuba.
In its application, the airline said: “JetBlue is the best airline and natural choice to be awarded frequencies for United States-Cuba service based upon the Department’s public interest and public benefit standards … The well-recognized and admired JetBlue brand along with its award-winning customer service will thrive in the Cuba market and undoubtedly will stimulate additional traffic between the United States and Cuba.”
JetBlue proposed to fly 15 daily frequencies connecting 4 Cuba cities with 6 U.S. cities, including the airline’s focus cities in South Florida, New York and Boston. Proposed routes include:
- New York (Kennedy) – Havana (2 daily frequencies)
- Fort Lauderdale – Havana (4 daily frequencies)
- Fort Lauderdale – Camagüey (1 daily frequency)
- Fort Lauderdale – Holguiìn (1 daily frequency)
- Fort Lauderdale – Santa Clara (1 daily frequency)
- Orlando – Havana (2 daily frequencies)
- Tampa – Havana (2 daily frequencies)
- Newark – Havana (1 daily frequency)
- Boston – Havana (1 daily frequency)
JetBlue anticipates a start date of September 8, 2016 or within 100 days after receipt of all necessary approvals, whichever is earlier.
As one of the leading airlines to the Caribbean, serving over two dozen destinations and with 30 percent of its available seat miles (ASMs) in the region, JetBlue is eager to begin providing low-fare, high-frills scheduled service to Cuba from numerous points in the United States.
“Continuing to reward legacy carriers by granting their requests in this proceeding will further solidify their already-dominant market positions and result in further concentration, diminished competition, high airfares and a lack of innovative and meaningful competition,” the airline said in its application.
JetBlue’s focus cities make it uniquely situated to provide scheduled service in the United States-Cuba market. Fort Lauderdale/South Florida and New York City are two of the three largest and most important markets for Cuba air service because of their large Cuban populations and associated familial, cultural and financial travel links.
JetBlue plans to offer service on its fuel efficient and state-of-the-art Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, which are optimally sized for maximizing the public benefits with the few newly-available frequencies to Cuba.
Customers flying on JetBlue receive award-winning service featuring the most legroom in coach (a); free Fly-Fi, the fastest broadband internet in the sky (b); complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks; free, live DIRECTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio at every seat.
JetBlue’s long-standing and successful charter service to Cuba has fully prepared it for the nuances of serving the island nation. JetBlue first began operating charters to Cuba in 2011 and now flies to Havana and Santa Clara from New York, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, and Tampa. JetBlue plans to continue operating charter flights with its partners as the process of assigning frequencies for scheduled service flights proceeds.
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™ and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 96 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 900 daily flights. For more information, please visit JetBlue.com.
(a) JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines.
(b) Fly-Fi Internet connectivity is currently available only over the contiguous U.S. For flights originating outside of the contiguous U.S., Fly-Fi Internet connectivity will be available once the aircraft returns to the coverage area. This coverage area does not necessarily guarantee service availability.