JetBlue eliminating service to five cities after failed Spirit Airlines merger

JetBlue eliminating service to five cities after failed Spirit Airlines merger

JetBlue Airways says it will be eliminating routes to destinations both in the U.S. and abroad as it reevaluates its profitability after a federal judge blocked it from acquiring Spirit Airlines earlier this year.

The airline said in an emailed statement that it will be leaving behind five cities, Bogotá, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; Lima, Peru and Kansas City, Mo. It will also not resume service to Newburgh, N.Y., which has had its service suspended since 2020.

Some other routes will be ending and others will be made seasonal, the company said.

“These decisions are never easy, however, these markets have recently fallen short of our expectations,” JetBlue said.

The company will exit the cities beginning on June 13, The Associated Press reported.

The AP noted that the airline will also reduce its flights out of Los Angeles, including to Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami, starting in June. Flights between Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Nashville; New Orleans and Salt Lake City, and service between New York and Detroit, will no longer happen.

The decisions will allow the company to “redeploy” its fleet to increase the number of flights traveling along “well-performing” routes. The planes that once would have gone to the poorly performing cities will now be stationed to fly between more popular destinations and help the company “when aircraft availability is limited.”

JetBlue noted that some of its aircraft are currently grounded to have their engines inspected.

Customers who will be impacted by the airline’s changes will be able to select alternative flight options online. If alternate routes are not available, customers will be provided a refund.

JetBlue lost more than $2 billion since its last profitable year in 2019, the AP reported. The airline attempted to acquire Spirit but the Department of Justice sued to stop the deal. A judge ruled in January that the proposed purchase could not go through because it would “substantially lessen competition.”

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