Think JetBlue isn't at least a little worried about Southwest bulking up on the East Coast? Think again. In a release announcing the launch of previously announced service from Washington, D.C.,'s Reagan Airport to Boston, Orlando, and Ft. Lauderdale, JetBlue said, "With the addition of seven daily flights from National to Boston, JetBlue is now the largest carrier for flights between Boston and the Baltimore-Washington region."
Baltimore is, of course, the centerpiece of Southwest's East Coast service. And with its acquisition of AirTran, Southwest stands to become the biggest carrier there, all while gaining a stronger foothold in JetBlue's focus city, Boston.
In its release, JetBlue also boasts that since it announced plans to serve the Boston-to-Reagan market, walk-up fares have dropped 60 percent. Which airline does that sound like?
As for the actual service, JetBlue is flying seven daily nonstops between Reagan and Boston, and one each to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale.
None of this should be a surprise, nor should it be taken to mean JetBlue is in trouble in Boston. Boston is a primary focus city for JetBlue, and the airline is focusing on it. That's it. But this move, along with the more transparently reactive decision to add Boston-to-Newark service, shows that JetBlue is preparing for a spirited challenge in Boston once the AirTran deal is complete.
Readers, where else do you think JetBlue should fly?