Skift Take

JetBlue is cutting more routes as part of the carrier’s strategy to restore its profitability following the loss of the Spirit merger and Pratt & Whitney engine issues.

JetBlue told crewmembers on Tuesday that it is cutting a slate of routes as part of its strategy to restore profitability following the termination of the Spirit Airlines merger

Starting June 13, JetBlue is ending service in Kansas City; New York’s Stewart International Airport; Bogotá, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; and Lima, Peru. Service from Stewart International Airport had been suspended since the pandemic. 

JetBlue said the routes listed above were unprofitable, according to the internal memo that was seen by Skift.

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

The memo also said the termination of the Spirit merger and Northeast Alliance contributed to these cuts, as JetBlue previously counted on both initiatives to help it grow. 

JetBlue is also ending the following routes: Aguadilla-Tampa; JFK-Detroit; and Orlando-Salt Lake City. And the carrier is cutting flights from Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles. 

Fort Lauderdale will see route cuts from Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, New Orleans and Salt Lake City. Los Angeles will lose service to Cancún, Las Vegas, Liberia, Costa Rica, Miami, Puerto Vallarta, Reno, Nevada, San Francisco and Seattle. Capacity in Los Angeles will also be reduced from 34 flights a day to 24.

The carrier said these cuts will allow it to redeploy its fleet to better-performing routes from its focus cities, while increasing ground time for its aircraft, which would reduce delays. JetBlue also said these cuts would help its operations as it deals with Pratt & Whitney engine issues that have forced it ground a portion of its aircraft. 

These changes don’t affect JetBlue’s capacity guidance for 2024.

A Shift to ‘Bread and Butter’ Cities

JetBlue said it would instead shift focus to its “bread and butter” cities — routes along the East Coast, the Caribbean and visiting-friends-and-family ones.

CEO Joanna Geraghty, who stepped into the role just one month ago, has repeatedly said she is focused on JetBlue’s profitability, especially as it’s now left to determine a path without Spirit. 

Part of Geraghty’s push to profitability has included cutting underperforming routes and amping up capacity in leisure destinations. In January, JetBlue ended service in Baltimore and axed flights from JFK and New York’s Westchester County for similar reasons. 

Geraghty’s strategy is a marked difference from that of her predecessor, Robin Hayes, who championed the Spirit merger and NEA. 

Instead, Geraghty has called those initiatives “distractions” and that the carrier would be “returning to the business fundamentals” under her leadership. 

“We’ve got to fully leverage our unique position in the market, and with three years of distractions associated with the NEA and associated with Spirit, we’ve got a lot of work to do to get JetBlue back to profitability,” Geraghty said this month at the JPMorgan Industrials conference. 


The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: jetblue, jetblue-spirit merger, jfk, lax, los angeles, northeast alliance

Up Next

Loading next stories