JetBlue Bidding Capital to Capital Slots

Austin and San Juan to Washington National

JetBlue has applied for four beyond-perimeter slot exemptions at Washington National Airport.  JetBlue is looking to operate both Washington National (DCA) to Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) and Washington National (DCA) to San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU).

The proposed flights would be the only nonstop service between the U.S. capital’s preferred business airport and the capitals of Puerto Rico and Texas – both of which are located beyond the airport’s 1,250-mile perimeter and are among the 10 largest markets without nonstop air service to Reagan National.

JetBlue intends to offer one daily nonstop roundtrip flight to San Juan’s Luiz Munoz Marin International Airport, with connecting service to St. Thomas, the capital of the United States Virgin Islands, as well as one daily nonstop roundtrip flight to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Both routes are supported by the two communities and their respective leaders.”

Robert Land, JetBlue’s senior vice president of government affairs and associate general counsel, said, “JetBlue’s proposed new service to San Juan and Austin will provide tremendous benefit to the traveling public.”  Land continued, “JetBlue has long had a simple formula for deciding which markets to serve: we look for routes that are underserved, overpriced, or both. The markets from our nation’s capital to San Juan and Austin fit that bill, and would be well-served with the addition of new nonstop JetBlue flights.”

Southwest Airlines also has its eyes on Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS), with same plane service onward to San Diego (SAN), and has submitted a competing application for the perimeter exemption.

JetBlue is Puerto Rico’s largest airline, with service between the Commonwealth and 11 nonstop destinations throughout the U.S. mainland and the Caribbean.  The airline believes it is well positioned for a perimeter exemption, also noting they only started flying from National since November 2010, after spending more than a decade of attempting to enter the tightly restricted market at Reagan National.

Seattle based, Alaska Airlines, is also competing for the coveted perimeter exemptions; Alaska is looking to serve Portland, Oregon (PDX) and San Diego (SAN) from Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA).

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