JetBlue announces more route cuts, suspensions

JetBlue is reducing its summer schedule by more than 10% from its original plan

JetBlue Airways has cut and suspended some of its summer routes as the carrier faces staffing shortages amid increased travel demand.

The airline told FOX Business on Tuesday that the latest changes were made early last week. 

"As part of the refinements to our summer schedule, we are reducing some flying to help to ease pressure on our operation during this busy season so that our customers can depend on us to get to them where they need to go. These adjustments also help reduce flying that does not make as much sense in the current environment of significantly higher fuel prices," a spokesperson for the carrier said. 

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According to Simple Flying, citing JetBlue's schedule filing over the weekend, the airline cut two routes and suspended seven. 

The site said three other changes were made to flights from New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport.

"JetBlue has trimmed some of its growth at Newark to ease congestion and ensure the terminal facilities can accommodate its schedule until construction is completed on the new Terminal A," the airline said in a news release

JetBlue said it had permanently ended flights from New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Boise Airport in Idaho and Glacier Park International Airport in Montana.

"Most of the capacity reductions we’ve identified take place through frequency changes, but we are also delaying a few reopenings and launches, and suspending several routes for a portion or all of the summer. We are also permanently exiting Boise (BOI) and Kalispell/Glacier National Park (FCA)," it noted. 

The airline said the reduction of its summer schedule to focus on hiring and training efforts would aid performance and offer more buffer and flexibility to recover from disruptions. 

A JetBlue Airways kiosk at New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport

FILE PHOTO: Travelers check-in at a JetBlue Airways kiosk at John F. Kennedy Airport in the Queens borough of New York, U.S. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

A decreased schedule, it said, would increase reliability and put less stress on its crew resources. 

JetBlue is reducing its summer schedule by more than 10% from its original plan and scheduled aircraft utilization will be down 10%-15% compared with 2019. 

JetBlue's capacity will grow 0%-5% from that year.

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JetBlue said its capacity cuts take into account the impact of higher-priced fuel and are distributed throughout its network, noting that its reduced schedule frees up aircraft time to give the airline additional opportunities to get ahead of planned maintenance programs. 

The company said it would grow significantly in New York’s three major airports – from 200 flights a day in 2019 to nearly 300 flights a day – even with the reductions. 

It plans to hire 5,000 more New York-based crew members. 

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A JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 taking off from Fort Lauderdale Airport. (Credit: iStock / iStock)

Despite the hiring of more than 3,000 crew members in 2022, the airline said earlier this month that it remained "staffing constrained," according to Reuters.

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"JetBlue is a growth airline, and we want nothing more than to bring our unique combination of low fares and award-winning service to more customers," JetBlue Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty said in a statement. "However, by taking a more conservative approach to growth, we can bring resiliency to our operation and ensure our crewmembers – who are the best in the industry – come to work each day set up for success."