JetBlue Airways Corp. plans to increase daily flights from Boston by about 40 percent, including new service to Atlanta as the carrier steps up competition with Delta Air Lines Inc.
In addition to the Boston-Atlanta route starting March 30, JetBlue plans to add flights in the second half of 2017 between the Georgia city and New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida, the New York-based airline said in a statement Wednesday. Delta is based in Atlanta and uses the city as a crucial hub.
JetBlue’s plan to expand Boston daily departures to 200 from 140 follows Delta’s mid-August announcement of new routes from the city to San Francisco and Nashville, Tennessee. Delta, which is seeking to expand Boston flights to 90 a day by June 2017, has focused heavily on the Massachusetts capital in recent years and added it to a list of hubs and key markets about two years ago.
“Boston travelers have spoken, and we are listening by adding Atlanta to our route map,” Marty St. George, a JetBlue executive vice president, said in the statement. The new flights mark JetBlue’s return to Atlanta after leaving the city in 2003 amid growing competition from Delta and discounter AirTran Airways.
Delta operates hourly shuttle service between Boston’s Logan International and New York’s LaGuardia 16 times a day, as well as eight daily flights from Boston to Kennedy. JetBlue previously said it would offer six daily weekday flights between LaGuardia and Boston starting Oct. 31, with two round trips on Saturdays and three on Sundays.
JetBlue also will add a fourth daily round-trip flight with its premium Mint service between Boston and San Francisco in July to meet growing demand and will expand seasonal service to year-round between Boston and the Caribbean destinations of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
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