Final Agreement With American Airlines Subject to Department of Justice Approval; JetBlue to Operate up to 30 Daily Nonstop Flights by Year End.
JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU) has been informed that its bid for 12 slot pairs at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) has been provisionally accepted. These assets became available as a result of divestitures mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the American Airlines-US Airways merger.
Once approved by DOJ, JetBlue expects to add 12 new roundtrip flights at Washington’s popular, close-in airport. The airline plans to introduce nonstop service to cities it does not currently serve from DCA, expanding the benefits of its award-winning service to more communities, as well as add more flights on some existing routes.
JetBlue first entered the Reagan National market in 2010 and today offers 18 daily roundtrip flights to Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Orlando, Tampa, as well as the airport’s only nonstop service to San Juan, Puerto Rico. With its new slots, JetBlue will operate up to 30 roundtrips per day at DCA.
“For more than a decade, JetBlue worked tirelessly to gain access to DCA, a high-fare market perfectly made for our everyday low fare business model,” said Rob Land, JetBlue’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel. “The JetBlue Experience is about serving the under-served with affordable, award-winning and nonstop service, to places people want to visit, not through spokes in a wheel. JetBlue has already had a major impact at Reagan National in just a few short years with its everyday low fares, such as in the key business market to Boston, where since our entry in 2010, average fares have been reduced 31% and traffic has nearly doubled, soaring 93%.”
JetBlue has been cited by an independent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the airline that lowers fares the most when it begins service in a new market, as measured by fares during the 2007-2012 timeframe. The JetBlue Effect,MIT says, lowers fares $32 one way on average, or $64 on a roundtrip fare.
In addition to its successful bid for 12 new slot pairs, JetBlue and American have agreed to a permanent transfer to JetBlue of eight other DCA slot pairs owned by American, as required by the DOJ settlement conditions, that JetBlue has been operating on a temporary basis since 2010.
JetBlue has successfully carved out a niche among competitors focused on serving the customer who is under-served by other airlines, by delivering unparalleled value to customers with its core product offerings, including a first checked bag free of charge (a), unlimited complimentary in-flight snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, and a live in-flight entertainment system with 36 channels of free DIRECTV programming and more than 100 channels of free XM Satellite Radio at every comfortable leather seat (b). In addition, JetBlue recently launched Fly-Fi, its game-changing broadband internet service, currently offered for free and available on 10 aircraft, with more being equipped every week. Customers can expect outstanding service from the friendliest crewmembers in the sky while they kick back and enjoy the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (c).
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