JetBlue Airways' Long Game Includes Additional International Flights

JetBlue Airways' Long Game Includes Additional International Flights

News 2022-10-27
Following its $3.8 billion buyout of Spirit Airlines, JetBlue intends to increase its presence in Latin America and establish additional locations in Africa.

While the anticipated acquisition would boost JetBlue's ability to travel to the Midwest in the United States and to a number of states it currently flies over rather than into, Joanna Geraghty, president, and chief operating officer, said there was also room to grow abroad.

On Tuesday, the day JetBlue finally began service between Boston and London Heathrow, Geraghty said she intended to take advantage of Spirit's global network, a third of which is in the Caribbean while speaking at the Skift Global Forum in New York City.

Beyond Cancun in Mexico, further routes through and around Latin America were next.

Here's what Joanna also told the editor of Skift's Airline Weekly, moderator Edward Russell:
"There are several places we've wished to reach, but the necessary planes haven't been available. We have to set priorities. Our expansion plan will most definitely be accelerated by the acquisition."
She continued that its new Airbus XLR aircraft might travel to various locations in western Africa.
"It's not a priority at the moment, but I hope to witness it in the future."

A Bidding War is Just the Beginning

Source – Shutterstock. American Airlines and JetBlue planes on the tarmac at the Cyril E. King Airport located at Charlotte Amalie on the island of St. Thomas

However, a court date is coming up sooner rather than later. On September 26th, a trial will start as a result of the US Justice Department's attempt to thwart the alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue Airways known as the "Northeast Alliance." It asserts that higher prices would result in congested Northeastern airports.

Round two's winner is JetBlue, which defeated rival Frontier Airlines to reach an agreement with Spirit. It will take a lot of legal time, and according to JetBlue, it might not be until the middle of 2024 before the Spirit acquisition is finalized.

Geraghty remarked:
"It's been a long trip. It's been difficult. We understand that it could take longer than normal."
She's, nonetheless, sure that the takeover will be approved because the U.S. Department of Justice will recognize that "JetBlue just wants to compete" and be given the opportunity to take on traditional airlines.

Overall, the combined company would have 125 destinations with Spirit, and Geraghty claimed that by selling off some of its slots in New York and other U.S. cities, it would also enable the expansion of other airlines like Breeze and Frontier.

Electric Ideas

Source – Shutterstock. Close-up of the JetBlue icon from JetBlue Airways on an iPhone

Geraghty added that JetBlue was trying to become a Net Zero firm by 2040, with electric planes playing a significant role in the plan.

However, it would concentrate on carbon offsets and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the coming years and seek to progress to science-based solutions.
"We have a program with corporate clients so they can buy SAF certificates, allowing us to purchase more SAF. We do, however, require assistance from the states and the federal government to promote increased supply."
By the end of the decade, EVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles) were also a possibility. She remarked that some technology was still in the future.

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Source – Shutterstock. Airplane passenger enjoying the view from the cabin window over the blue sky

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Source – Shutterstock. Airplanes in blue sky with vapor trail

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