JetBlue exits 5 cities as it cuts unprofitable routes

Low-cost airline JetBlue After a federal court blocked its proposed merger with rival budget carrier Spirit Airlines, it plans to eliminate routes to five cities and cut service to Los Angeles to improve its financial performance.

Airline Remove paths Kansas City, Missouri, as well as Bogotá, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; and Lima, Peru. JetBlue will eliminate service to Newburgh, New York, which has been suspended since 2020, and reduce the number of daily flights to Los Angeles from 34 to 24. The changes are expected to take effect in June.

“These decisions are never easy, however, these markets have recently fallen short of our expectations,” JetBlue told FOX Business in a statement. “These moves will allow us to redeploy our fleet to increase frequencies on our best-performing routes from JetBlue's focus cities, while continuing to increase critical ground time for our aircraft and reduce the likelihood of delays for our customers.

“These changes will help us at a time when aircraft availability is limited – particularly as some of our aircraft have been grounded due to Pratt & Whitney GTF engine inspections.”

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JetBlue and Spirit recently abandoned a proposed merger that a federal judge ruled would undermine competition among the budget carriers. (Joe Radle/Getty Images/Getty Images)

The airline is facing a shortage of flights due to problems with seven of its RTX Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines. Airbus A320neo aircraft are foundational. That number is expected to rise to 15 by the end of 2024, according to JetBlue.

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ticker Security Past change conversion %
Blue JetBlue Airways Corp. 7.17 +0.46 +6.86%
Save SPIRIT AIRLINES INC. 4.46 +0.36 +8.78%

“The majority of our customers affected by these changes will be able to self-select alternative flight options on Where alternatives are not available, customers will receive refunds,” the company said in a statement to FOX Business.

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JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232

JetBlue is refocusing its services on routes that perform well. (AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images)

JetBlue head of network planning Dave Zenn wrote a memo discussing the changes, which was reviewed by Reuters. In the memo, Jen said Flight crew members Its financial performance has suffered on some short-haul routes in the West American and Midwest markets, as well as in South America.

“More than ever, every lane must earn the right to stay on the network,” Jenn wrote. The move does not change the airline's capacity outlook for this year, which is expected to decline by a low single-digit percentage rate from 2023.

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JetBlue flights to Boston, Massachusetts

JetBlue is dealing with a shortage of planes in its fleet as some of its planes are grounded due to engine inspections. (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images/Getty Images)

New JetBlue CEO Joanna Geraghty has vowed to take “aggressive action” to return the airline to profitability. The moves include deferring about $2.5 billion in airline capital expenditures and reducing costs through buyouts for employees in corporate, airport and customer support functions. JetBlue is trying to generate an additional $300 million in revenue this year.

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JetBlue's proposed merger with Spirit Airlines was blocked by a federal judge in January because the court found the merger would harm consumers by combining two low-cost airlines.

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In the wake of the ruling, JetBlue and Spirit officially Stopped the proposed merger and to restructure their operations to improve their financial performance.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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