With the Northeast Alliance over, JetBlue will redeploy resources to leisure routes

JetBlue is redeploying capacity that was dedicated to its Northeast Alliance with American Airlines to “high-margin leisure opportunities throughout our network,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said during Tuesday’s Q2 earnings call.

A Massachusetts district court in May ordered JetBlue and American to terminate the Northeast Alliance. JetBlue decided in June not to appeal that ruling. The alliance ended on July 29.

JetBlue’s redeployment plan echoes one announced last week by Southwest Airlines, which will substantially reduce midweek flying and free up aircraft for leisure-oriented routes.  

“Historically, leisure markets have ramped up more quickly, and we know that many months a year, there is a demand that can’t be satisfied,” JetBlue head of revenue and planning Dave Clark said. “In a world where corporate travel is 20% down, how do airlines sort of meet that off-peak need? I think it’s far broader than network. I think it’s resourcing strategy. I think it’s maintenance planning.”

New York and Boston — the focus of the Northeast Alliance — account for 75% to 80% percent of JetBlue’s capacity, Clark said. 

“We’ve already started to execute [the redeployment], and we’ll be continuing to execute that over the coming period,” he said. “But with the non-New York part of our network driving above 2019 margins in the second quarter, we feel confident that we’ve got a number of good options to redeploy this capacity.”

  • Related: JetBlue and AA are free to pursue other domestic alliances

Hayes said New York will remain the airline’s “largest focus city with well over 200 departures per day.”

JetBlue reported record second-quarter revenue of $2.6 billion, up 6.7% year over year. Net income was $138 million compared with a loss of $188 million in Q2 2022.

Source: Business Travel News

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