JetBlue Touts Fort Lauderdale Progress, Europe Flights

JetBlue is promising important growth in South Florida. Whereas that sounds thrilling, personally I wouldn’t learn an excessive amount of into this, because the airline clearly has a motive with making these claims…

JetBlue outlines Fort Lauderdale growth plans

JetBlue has this week firmly introduced one new route out of Fort Lauderdale, because the airline will add a every day flight to Tallahassee in 2024. One way or the other this announcement is being spun into one thing a lot greater than that, although, as JetBlue is outlining its long run imaginative and prescient for South Florida.

JetBlue is within the means of buying Spirit, and the airline is promising to supply 250 every day flights from Fort Lauderdale by 2027. It’s argued that each JetBlue and Spirit have had success in Fort Lauderdale, however the two airways working collectively will unlock long run alternatives so as to add home and worldwide markets and routes that wouldn’t in any other case be attainable:

  • JetBlue would supply flights to 30 markets not at present served by both JetBlue or Spirit from Fort Lauderdale, and it might add extra frequencies to roughly 30 extra markets
  • JetBlue and Spirit at present serve 66 of the highest 100 markets out there from Miami Airport, although if the merger is authorised, the 2 airways would serve 90 of the highest 100 markets out there from Miami Airport
  • JetBlue would launch service between Fort Lauderdale and Europe utilizing its Airbus A321XLRs
  • JetBlue claims that quite a few new routes can be economical if the merger have been authorised, together with flights to Antigua, Belize, Cincinnati, Liberia, Minneapolis, Memphis, and Savannah

A variety of this development can be attainable due to the addition of a brand new Terminal 5 at Fort Lauderdale Airport, which might be a 5 gate facility with a connection to Terminal 4. The plan is for this to be accomplished by mid-2026.

Fort Lauderdale Airport Terminal 4

In fact it’s thrilling to suppose that JetBlue may additionally fly throughout the Atlantic from Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue is at present taking supply of 14 Airbus A321LRs, which the airline is utilizing to fly from Boston and New York to Europe. The airline additionally has 13 Airbus A321XLRs on order, that are even longer vary. These would simply have the ability to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Europe.

JetBlue Airbus A321LR Mint enterprise class cabin

JetBlue is making an attempt actually arduous to justify its merger

The $3.8 billion merger between JetBlue and Spirit was introduced in July 2022. The airways predict to face regulatory hurdles with getting this authorised, and it’s even anticipated that the Division of Justice will transfer to dam this merger.

So it’s not stunning that JetBlue is spending loads of time proper now speaking concerning the shopper advantages of a merger. Nonetheless, I can’t assist however query the strategy JetBlue is taking right here in making an attempt to justify the merger, as a result of I believe the airline is absolutely greedy at straws.

I discover JetBlue’s strategy to be attention-grabbing right here. The airline is saying a single new intra-Florida route that may launch almost a 12 months sooner or later, and it’s to Florida’s capital. Normally a home route wouldn’t be introduced that far prematurely. Is that this simply being completed as a political play? In any case, the airline even quotes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis about how JetBlue is bringing low fares to Florida.

Then the airline goes on to elucidate the way it will broaden to 250 every day flights in Fort Lauderdale, however that’s solely attainable if the merger is authorised. So JetBlue couldn’t make Fort Lauderdale to London flights work if it weren’t for the merger with Spirit? And may the airline actually declare in good conscience {that a} Fort Lauderdale to Minneapolis route will likely be viable in 2027 with the merger, however wouldn’t be with out it?

I can recognize why JetBlue is making an attempt so arduous to make this merger look like it has public profit, however I discover loads of the claims right here to be fairly doubtful. Some routes aren’t attainable proper now because of lack of gate area in Fort Lauderdale, and because of lack of accessible planes. However to assert that these can be attainable 4 years down the highway provided that a merger is authorised is very questionable.

JetBlue is making loads of questionable development claims

Backside line

JetBlue is promising that it’s going to function 250 every day flights from Fort Lauderdale by 2027, assuming the merger with Spirit is authorised. Moreover, the airline is saying the merger with Spirit will enable it to function flights between Fort Lauderdale and Europe.

Whereas it’s good to see that JetBlue needs to develop in South Florida, I don’t purchase the corporate’s speaking factors about all of this development solely being attainable if a merger is authorised. Suggesting {that a} Fort Lauderdale to London to Fort Lauderdale to Minneapolis flight can be attainable 4 years down the highway, however provided that the merger is authorised, simply doesn’t add up.

What do you make of this JetBlue announcement about Fort Lauderdale growth?

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