JetBlue Cuts 16 Routes, Leaves Five Cities After Spirit Merger Debacle

Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)
Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

JetBlue Airways is cutting a whole bunch of unprofitable routes to destinations both in the U.S. and overseas. It’s leaving five cities altogether as it looks to save money after its $3.8 billion bid to buy Spirit Airlines was blocked by a judge earlier this year.

The airline told CBS News that it is removing certain roots to reduce “the chance of delays for our customers,” because – in theory – the cuts will free up aircraft to fly on more profitable routes. The airline cited limited artifacts as a major reason for the cuts. Currently, about a dozen Airbus jets remain grounded over issues with their Pratt & Whitney engines.

There are two U.S. and three international cities JetBlue is leaving completely: Kansas City, Missouri; Newburgh, New York; Bagotá, Colombia, Quito, Ecuador; and Lima, Peru.


Here’s a list of the routes JetBlue is sending the way of the dodo, according to CBS News:

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, to Tampa, Fla.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Atlanta, Ga.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Austin, Texas

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Nashville, Tenn.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to New Orleans, La.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Salt Lake City, Utah

Los Angeles to Cancun, Mexico

Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Los Angeles to Liberia

Los Angeles to Miami

Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Los Angeles to Reno, Nev.

Los Angeles to San Francisco

Los Angeles to Seattle

New York/JFK to Detroit

Orlando to Salt Lake City, Utah

JetBlue is cutting routes after its proposed deal to buy Spirit was scuttled earlier this month after pushback from federal antitrust enforcers. A federal judge ruled back in January of this year that the acquisition would weaken competition by eliminating a major discount airline. That could – potentially – lead to higher airfare for travelers.

The setback killed JetBlue’s plans to expand its service at key hubs. In Los Angeles, JetBlue now plans to cut back to 24 flights a day – down from roughly 34, according to CBS News.

Here’s more from JetBlue’s statement to CBS News:

“These moves will allow us to redeploy our fleet to increase frequencies on well-performing routes from JetBlue’s focus cities while continuing to increase crucial ground time for our aircraft, reducing the chance of delays for our customers,” Dave Jehn, JetBlue’s vice president of network planning and airline partnerships, said in an internal memo viewed by CBS News. “The changes will also help us during a time when aircraft availability is limited — particularly with some of our aircraft grounded due to Pratt & Whitney GTF engine inspections.”


”With less aircraft time available and the need to improve our financial performance, more than ever, every route has to earn its right to stay in the network,” Jehn added.

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