In a move aimed to draw some of the limelight away from Southwest, JetBlue has announced plans to serve Boston next year from Newark’s Liberty International Airport. Right now, only Continental flies nonstop between Newark and Boston and commands a steep price for the short flight: $800+ for a r/t flight–if you purchase in advance. With JetBlue joining the fray, look for prices to drop, precipitously at first, but then to settle at much more competitive rate.
The move comes just days after Southwest announced its plans to begin serving Newark next year, after the airline picked up 18 slots in a deal with Continental.
The "Southwest Effect" and now the "JetBlue Effect" is coming to EWR!
I’m curious to find out where Jetblue is getting all these slots for their service. Newark is already very slot constrained. Are they dropping some of their Florida flights?
@Fozz: Excellent point. I wanted to discuss that in my post, but none of the news stories mentioned where the slot was coming from. I assume they will not be getting any new slots from CO as part of the merger agreement, or else the news stories would have mentioned that.
If new slots are coming out of somewhere, I’m sure Virgin will also have something to say about it. They’ve been trying to get slots at EWR with no luck.
There are already a number of flights to the NYC area from Boston. And while CO does have a bit of a hold on EWR, remember they also have a lot of transiting traffic on that route. I would venture a guess that at least 50% of the traffic on EWR-BOS is connecting traffic. Back in the day, UA and AA also had EWR-BOS flights, but we see where that ended up.
Between the shuttles from LGA and Amtrak, there are many other options that throwing four flights a day and having a minimal amount of connecting traffic at best, seems like a recipe for a failure.
Regarding how JetBlue will launch new service from slot-constrained Newark, an airline spokesman said, “We’re finalizing details around today’s announcement regarding service between Boston and Newark. Expect more information as we firm up the schedule and move closer to our target launch date.”
Jet Blue hasn’t loaded the May schedule yet so they probably will figure this out later. I would bet the announcement was to hopefully head off Southwest also entering the market.
I used to do revenue management for United on the BOS-EWR route and we made plenty of money. CO refused to match our lower fares on our four daily flights, but retaliated in a lot of other Northeast to IAD market via EWR. (They won’t be able to ignore Jet Blue though.) The route was dropped to refocus planes on UA hubs as neither BOS or EWR was even a focus city and thus expendable.
@Randy: Great insight. I’ll look forward to more info from B6.
Thanks for your comments.