By Philip Newman
JetBlue Airways plans to nearly double its flights from LaGuardia and Ronald Reagan National airports in Washington, D.C.
“By seizing the opportunity to invest in the rare slot pairs made available in our hometown of New York City and in the nation’s capital, JetBlue is comfortably poised for organic growth,” said JetBlue Vice President Scott Laurence. “Together with our low fares, award-winning product and customer service, we’re pleased to be able to double the flights, new destinations and more options to customers in both of these vital regions.”
JetBlue’s expansion of flights at LaGuardia is a byproduct of similar moves by Delta at LaGuardia.
JetBlue got the chance to expand at LaGuardia and Reagan National because Delta and US Airways swapped some takeoff and landing slots. The Federal Aviation Administration ruled that the two airlines could trade their rights at LaGuardia and Reagan if they gave up some slots at each airport to a low-cost airline.
In the resulting auction, JetBlue outbid Southwest Airlines.
The Forest Hills-based airline said it plans to increase flights to Washington by eight round-trips daily to at least 16 round-trips by this summer.
JetBlue also announced it plans to add service from LaGuardia to three new Florida destinations — Fort Myers, Sarasota-Bradenton and Tampa — beginning in June.
The airline said it would also add more existing service between LaGuardia and Orlando and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and West Palm Beach.
JetBlue began service in 2000 to points in Florida and cities in upstate New York.
Jetblue began flying out of LaGuardia in 2004 and now provides services to 70 destinations. It recently also announced plans to offer service to Dallas/Fort Worth later this year.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 718-260-4536.