Ahead of a highly-anticipated 2022, American Airlines and JetBlue are revealing another round of Northeast Alliance (NEA)-fueled expansion. American Airlines will be adding some new service out of Boston while JetBlue is set to significantly up its offerings, including putting its Vancouver flights on sale. Together, the two airlines are set to offer over 700 daily flights out of New York and Boston next summer.
New York’s JFK gets a boost
New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is getting a considerable boost. Next year, the NEA will offer up to 300 daily departures. This includes new services from JetBlue to Vancouver and Asheville, which are now on sale. JetBlue will also be adding frequencies on several routes:
- Aruba (AUA) moves up to four daily flights
- Atlanta (ATL) moves up to four daily flights
- Cancun (CUN) moves up to four daily flights
- Detroit (DTW) moves up to two daily flights
- Guayaquil (GYE) moves up to two daily flights
- Kingston (KIN) moves up to five daily flights
- Minneapolis (MSP) moves up to two daily flights
- Montego Bay (MBJ) moves up to four daily flights
- Raleigh-Durham (RDU) moves up to three daily flights
- St. Lucia (UVF) moves up to two daily flights
- Turks and Caicos (PLS) moves up to two daily flights
American Airlines has already announced new service between JFK and Doha (DOH), which it also credits as part of NEA-fueled growth, though also coupled with help from the Qatar Airways connecting hub at JFK. This will be the only nonstop service from a US airline to the Gulf. It will complement American’s service to Tel Aviv, Israel, which also launched due to the NEA.
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A big bet on LaGuardia
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is primarily a commuter airport thanks to the perimeter rule limiting how far airlines can fly six days a week. The NEA will offer nearly 200 daily departures here, with JetBlue growing to the largest position it has ever had at LGA. JetBlue’s new service to Portland (PWM) is going on sale, and the following routes will also get a boost:
- Boston (BOS) with up to 15 daily flights
- Charleston (CHS) with up to three daily flights
- Jacksonville (JAX) with up to three daily flights
- Nashville (BNA) with up to three daily flights
- New Orleans (MSY) with up to two daily flights
- Orlando (MCO) with up to five daily flights
- Tampa (TPA) with up to three daily flights
- Savannah (SAV) with up to two daily flights
This is on top of the new American routes from LaGuardia to Houston (IAH), Kansas City (MCI), Oklahoma City (OKC), and Omaha (OMA). American also upgauged flights to St. Louis (STL), RDU, and BNA.
American Airlines is also moving its operations at LaGuardia to the new Terminal B’s Western Concourse starting Thursday. This will see the airline completely cease operations from the Central Terminal Building, where American has operated since the 1960s. JetBlue will be fully operating out of Terminal B when it is completed in 2022, offering a better connecting experience.
Growth comes to Boston
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is also included under the NEA. However, JFK and LGA have received a little more attention than BOS, mainly because slot controls at JFK and LGA require both carriers to be more strategic with their network planning.
American Airlines will be making some moves in BOS for summer 2022 using Embraer E175 aircraft. Existing service to Louisville (SDF) and Memphis (MEM) will move up to daily service. In addition, the airline will add three Saturday-only routes to Halifax (YHZ), Pensacola (PNS), and Traverse City (TVC). These will join the airline’s recently announced service from BOS to Columbus (CMH), Cincinnati (CVG), Indianapolis (IND), Wilmington (ILM), Toronto (YYZ), and STL.
JetBlue will also be adding more flying from BOS to Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport (DCA), with up to 16 daily departures. Service to Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) on JetBlue returns on June 9th with up to five daily flights.
The NEA will offer service to 46 of the top 50 US domestic mainland US markets from Boston. Next summer, the NEA will offer over 200 daily departures at BOS. JetBlue will be operating over 150.
Not the last round of growth
American Airlines and JetBlue are expected to grow over the next few years. The existing deal with the Department of Transportation (DOT) that allowed the alliance to move forward even has capacity targets that the NEA has to meet without being penalized. American and JetBlue have been quite aggressive when it comes to growth.
The two airlines have been steadily adding new destinations. This includes international long-haul service on American to places like New Delhi and Athens. It also includes flights closer to home, such as a new service to San Antonio from JetBlue to both New York and Boston.
While JFK has gotten a lot of attention, the next logical area for growth is Boston. American’s operation in BOS is sizable, but there is room to grow. This is especially true when it comes to long-haul international routes. There are several major destinations, primarily in Europe, that American could easily reach from Boston. However, this will likely have to wait until it has enough widebody aircraft to operate its desired schedules. Boeing 787 deliveries have impacted the airline’s schedules.
While the NEA faces a challenge from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) over consumer concerns, both American and JetBlue are doing the exact opposite and offering more routes to new destinations – including those not served by any other US airline. Expect more, especially as both airlines start to take more new aircraft.