JetBlue Moves South to Savannah - Analyst Blog


Fresh from its successful bidding to purchase take-off and landing slots at Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, JetBlue Airways Corp. ( JBLU ) has announced the launch of services to Savannah from Boston and plans to add the New York route from Mar 6.

The Savannah-bound flight will depart from Boston around 11.10 A.M. and will reach its destination in around two and half hours. The return flight from Savannah's Hilton Head International Airport will take similar time. JetBlue is the first carrier to offer nonstop service between the two destinations. Notably, Savannah is JetBlue's 83rd destination from its network.

The citizens of Savannah - one of the oldest cities in the state of Georgia -- will benefit from JetBlue's service, which has already added 600 new low fare seats from Boston's Logan International Airport. The strong customer response has induced the carrier to add a couple of new flights from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Savannah, thus adding 200 low-fare seats each day.

In Jan 2014, JetBlue won 40 new take-off and landing slots at DCA including 16, which it leased from American Airlines. The slot purchase is part of the mega-merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways Group Inc. - to form American Airlines Group Inc. ( AAL ) - which required the carriers to give up 52 take-off and landing slots at DCA and 17 pairs at LGA.

New York-based JetBlue in turn has to give up ownership right of 12 pairs of take-off and landing slots at JFK to American Airlines Group, which the latter has leased from the former.    

We believe Savannah will not only boost JetBlue's nonstop service portfolio from Boston but will also strengthen its position in New York, which is already a strong hub for the carrier.

JetBlue sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks worth considering within this sector are United Continental Holdings Inc. ( UAL ) and Southwest Airlines Co. ( LUV ), each with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

AMER AIRLINES (AAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

JETBLUE AIRWAYS (JBLU): Free Stock Analysis Report

SOUTHWEST AIR (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report

UNITED CONT HLD (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: DCA , AAL , JBLU , LUV , UAL

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