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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

JetBlue officially begins operating flights from New York and Boston to Amsterdam

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Following a long chase for slots at the Dutch airport, JetBlue has officially begun operating flights between New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS).

The JFK-based airline will initially begin flying between the Big Apple’s airport and AMS “starting late this summer and service between Boston and Amsterdam to follow”. Amsterdam will join London, which became a JetBlue destination 2021, and Paris, which followed suit in June 2023.

“This route is long overdue for some competition,” stated Robin Hayes, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JetBlue. “For too long the U.S. legacy carriers, backed by their joint ventures with other global airlines that enjoy immunity from antitrust laws, have locked customers in with very expensive fares and mediocre service,” Hayes added. The CEO noted that, as with flights to London and Paris, JetBlue aims to “bring fares down and improve the experience for customers flying between the U.S. and Amsterdam”.

Between the two US locations and the Dutch capital, the airline will operate an Airbus A321LR equipped with 114 economy class seats and 24 Mint (Business class) suites. The Great Circle Mapper estimates the distance between JFK and AMS to be 3,166 nautical miles (5,863 km), while the distance between BOS and AMS is 3,004 nm (5,563 km). The A321LR’s maximum range, according to Airbus, is 4,000 nm (7,400 km).

According to JetBlue, it has “confident there is opportunity for it to enter the market” since a Dutch court recently overturned the local government’s proposal to restrict annual air movements at AMS from 500,000 to 460,000 starting in November 2023.

The corporation had protested to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) that it had been subjected to discrimination by the Dutch government while still receiving AMS slots. Yet, it warned that access problems might persist.

The heavily insolvent Flybe provided JetBlue with airport slots that were given out on an as-needed basis without regard to prior agreements. For the forthcoming winter season, the airline would therefore need to request authorisation to fly to AMS once more.

At the time, the carrier said that “ACNL [Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL) – ed. note] has provided no explanation as to why these prior FlyBe slots, which had historic status, have been made available to JetBlue on only a temporary basis”.

Furthermore, while JetBlue received the rights to fly to AMS, a “return to the status quo only a few months after any initiation of JetBlue service at AMS would be extraordinarily disruptive, precluding a U.S. carrier from maintaining any continuity of service in the Amsterdam air services market”.

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