While the larger, legacy carriers are trimming their schedules and making route maps smaller, airlines like JetBlue and Alaska Airlines continue to grow. The two—quite similar in their operations though on opposite coasts—have each announced a couple new routes in recent weeks, adding connections to their route maps and making things easier for their customers.
JetBlue announced two new domestic routes for 2013. Daily service will be added between New York's JFK airport and Albuquerque. JetBlue will be the only airline providing service on that route. They also have launched a sale with the introduction of the route: one way fares as low as $66 if booked by 29 November 2012. JetBlue is also adding a seasonal flight where there is significant competition from incumbent carriers. They will offer one daily round trip between Seattle and Anchorage during the summer of 2013. This is in addition to their seasonal Anchorage—Long Beach flight. Both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines compete on the Seattle-Anchorage route with multiple daily flights but the route sees high demand in the summer season. The additional capacity and competition should be beneficial to passengers.
Alaska Airlines is growing their service out of San Diego in 2013. The carrier will compete head-to-head with JetBlue with a non-stop flight to Boston starting on March 29th. Seasonal service is also being added from San Diego to Lihue, Hawaii starting June 7, 2013. This will be the third destination in Hawaii served by Alaska Airlines from San Diego. As part of the introduction of these two routes Alaska Airlines is running a promotion with their MileagePlan program offering double miles in the first three months each flight operates. Registration is required for the double miles promotions (Boston and Lihue).
While these two carriers are growing significantly in the United States Delta Airlines is cutting service at their Memphis hub. As of January 2013 another 21 daily frequencies will be cut leaving the carrier with fewer than 100 daily flights. Just prior to the merger of Delta and Northwest in 2008 the two had more than 230 combined daily flights there. While the carrier is saying they remain committed to the airport as a hub, the continued trimming of operations tells a different story.
Photo credit: JetBlue via Jeff Schultes/Shutterstock