JetBlue Expands Washington DC Service with Florida Flights - Analyst Blog

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Passengers availing JetBlue Airways Corp. 's ( JBLU ) services will now have access to more flying options with the carrier's latest decision to fly south to Jacksonville - a city with the highest population in the state of Florida.

The New York-based carrier plans to add two daily non-stop flights to Jacksonville International airport (JAX) from Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) on and from Dec 18, 2014. The launch will coincide with the carrier's two new daily flights from DCA to Fort Myers (RSW) and West Palm Beach (PBI) in Florida.

On Jun 19, 2014, JetBlue flagged off two daily flights to Charleston, SC and Hartford, CT and one daily to Nassau, Bahamas from DCA. JetBlue added a second daily service from DCA to Tampa, FL on Jul 2.

The recent DCA expansion explains JetBlue's slot wins in the airport from the rival American Airlines Group Inc. ( AAL ). The latter had to divest slots at DCA to complete the merger between the erstwhile American Airlines and U.S. Airways Group.

Jacksonville is the sixth new destination that the carrier will connect to DCA this year. It will use Embraer SA's ( ERJ ) 100-seater E-190 aircraft for the route. However, the carrier will face stiff competition as big names like Delta Airlines Inc. ( DAL ), United Continental Holdings and U.S. Airways already operate on the route.

JetBlue started its operations from DCA in 2010 and since then, it has consistently extended services with 24 daily departures, Another 30 round trip flights from the airport are on the cards by 2014-end. The airline already flies to popular destinations like Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Boston and San Juan, Puerto Rico from DCA.

According to JetBlue, the company has successfully managed to reduce average fares in the markets they serve, thus increasing traffic count. We believe despite strong competition, JetBlue could still gain market traction on the back of its low-fare structure as compared to some of its larger traditional peers.

JetBlue currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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

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