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JetBlue to start Hub-LA service

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  January 29, 2009 10:12 AM

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With Virgin America prepared to launch its service from Boston to San Francisco and Los Angeles on Feb. 12, JetBlue announced that it will revive plans for service between Boston and New York to Los Angeles International starting June 17.
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JetBlue had planned to launch service out of LAX last summer but pulled back, citing the record high fuel costs. That meant that the closest their customers could get to the city was either Burbank or Long Beach as opposed to Virgin, which offers service out of LAX. The discount carrier, which hasn't decided on fares for the twice-daily service (bet on low introductory ones), will begin selling tickets to LAX Wednesday Feb. 4.
JetBlue also has said that it will revive nonstop service from Boston to San Francisco May 1 on a seasonal basis -- which means through Labor Day -- after discontinuing the service last year.
Sebastian White, a JetBlue spokesman, denied that the moves were in response to Virgin's entrance to the Boston market.
"As you'll remember, when we canceled plans to start up LAX service last summer, fuel was at an all-time high. Fares could simply not support the cost of operations in the market,'' he said in an email. "With fuel prices down and fares slightly up, the timing was right for us to finally make our debut at LAX.''
White, however, admits that the airline sees Virgin as a competitor on the routes they both serve.
David Cush, Virgin chief executive, has said that he sees the airline's main competition as the legacy carriers, not discounters like JetBlue. Cush says his carrier aims to link major business centers, offering travelers top-flight entertainment options, service, and other amenities.
White says of JetBlue, which is no slouch in the area of in-flight entertainment and amenities, "We're committed to making JetBlue even more relevant to Boston travelers, particularly our growing numbers of business customers, by offering flights to their most-requested destinations.''
OK, guys, sounds like competition to me. And even if y'all are focused on business travelers -- as are most carriers, since suits tend to fly more than the rest of us and are more willing and able to pony up high fares for the privilege of flying when and where they need to -- I expect this could signal the beginning of good things for regular travelers in Boston.

One more thing... JetBlue says it will start flying to Montego Bay, Jamaica, May 21. Boston customers will be able to connect to direct flights departing from New York.

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11 comments so far...
  1. I hope JB will still go to Long Beach. It's an easy place to get in and out of and the car rental is about 50 yards from the baggage claim. It's a real cool airport.

    Posted by sunfan January 29, 09 12:37 PM
  1. I hope JB will still go to Long Beach. It's an easy place to get in and out of and the car rental is about 50 yards from the baggage claim. It's a real cool airport.

    Posted by sunfan January 29, 09 12:38 PM
  1. Airlines are all over the map (literally and figuratively). You rarely see them advertise, mostly because the cry of 'We want to be YOUR airline!' rings kind of hollow these days. Every airline--JetBlue being no exception--is yanking the chain of the flying public. That's not necessarily a knock on the airlines, because it's a challenging environment they operate in. Today they have to contend with a business market that has flat-lined and a leisure market that has done worse. No sense going after discretionary dollars when there aren't any. As for Boston-LA on JetBlue, I expect they'll do what Delta always did...start-stop-start-stop. In a fluid macro-economic environment, what else could you expect?

    Posted by Chris January 29, 09 01:29 PM
  1. JetBlue used to fly from Boston to both San Francisco AND San Jose but cancelled the service in the fall... Cool that Virgin is picking up that route.

    Posted by JumboWilson January 29, 09 02:00 PM
  1. I love Jetblue for flights on the east coast. But those redeye only returning flights from the west coast prevent me from taking them. When they were a discount carrier I could understand how some wouldn't mind but now that they are a premium carrier on many routes it's hard to see why I should bother- there's not much on those TVs at 3am....

    Posted by bob January 29, 09 02:23 PM
  1. I wish JetBlue flew to Baltimore and Atlanta - the two places I'm flying to this year. I'm taking Southwest, the only other airline I like, out of Providence to BWI. Not sure yet on going to Atlanta, but it will probably be AirTran, which is okay.

    Posted by Elly January 29, 09 03:29 PM
  1. totally agree that LGB is a better airport to get in and out of! i love that Jet blue goes there non-stop from BOS. I hope LAX doesnt take away from that.

    Posted by Matt January 29, 09 05:03 PM
  1. If you are going north on the 405 past Sulpeveda pass flying to LAX is MUCH preferred then to LGB. I have been waiting for this for awhile, nice!

    Posted by Jonathan January 29, 09 06:36 PM
  1. Don't worry about Long Beach CA It's a JetBlue crew base, only one on the west cost.
    Also 'Home base' JFK www.t508.com, Boston MA, Orlando FL and Ft. Lauderdale FL

    Posted by JB Flyer January 30, 09 06:58 AM
  1. jetBlue will do nothing with Long Beach. LGB is currently the only way to connect customers up and down the west coast. You could potentially see jetBlue knock 1 long haul to Boston, and JFK down the road, but that would only help to increase frequency of flights up and down the west coast. Look for IAD and FLL to be added to LAX shortly after start of service in June.

    Posted by Anonymous January 30, 09 04:10 PM
  1. This blog entry and comments are a little stale, but I found out today that my JetBlue flight from BOS to LGB for May 8 and returning on May 10 has been canceled. I booked the flight on February 18 and apparently the flights were canceled on February 20. The only remaining nonstop service is the 8:40 flight from BOS to LGB and the red eye from LGB to BOS.

    Too bad, because I thought the other flight times were actually perfect.

    Posted by citizeng February 24, 09 04:06 PM
 
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