You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

JetBlue plans Atlanta flights in ‘17


JetBlue Airways plans to return to Atlanta.

The New York-based low-cost carrier has long been missing from the world’s busiest airport. But JetBlue last week sent a letter of interest to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, saying it plans to renew service to Atlanta in September 2017.

The airline said it plans 16 daily flights as long as it can get access to two gates suitable for large aircraft “and higher end business and leisure travelers that JetBlue is targeting in the Atlanta market.”

“We believe that the Atlanta air market is currently overpriced and suffering from insufficient competition,” JetBlue vice president of network planning, Dave Clark, wrote in a letter to Hartsfield-Jackson interim general manager Roosevelt Council.

“For example, during 2015 customers traveling between Atlanta and metro New York paid fares 25 percent higher than JetBlue customers paid to fly non-stop between metro New York and Fort Lauderdale.”

The letter didn’t specify planned destinations.

Hartsfield-Jackson spokesman Reese McCranie said JetBlue’s letter of intent “underscores our commitment to attracting new service to Atlanta and increasing competition.”

“We are always looking to expand and fly to the places people want to go,” JetBlue spokesman Philip Stewart said in a written statement, while adding that the airline has no specific decisions to announce on Atlanta at this time.

JetBlue has been the highest-ranked carrier in J.D. Power’s North American airline satisfaction study for 12 years in a row. The airport and airline have been in conversation for months.

It has been nearly 13 years since JetBlue, which took off in 2000, last flew to Atlanta.

In 2003, then-Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin christened a JetBlue Airbus A320 with bottles of Coca-Cola before the plane took off for its inaugural route to Long Beach, Calif. Passengers at the time paid as little as $99 each way, bringing significant fare competition to Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines.

But JetBlue pulled out of Hartsfield-Jackson just six months later. Low-cost carrier AirTran Airways, the No. 2 carrier in Atlanta, had launched its own flights to the West Coast. Fares plummeted and JetBlue faced a dogfight with both AirTran and Delta.

Now, AirTran has been absorbed by Southwest Airlines. Delta has shifted its strategy over the years and remade itself through bankruptcy restructuring and a sharper focus on high-spending business travelers.

JetBlue, meanwhile, has grown into a national player, with a 200-plus plane fleet and what it calls “focus city” operations in New York, Boston, south Florida and Long Beach.

Clark wrote in the letter to Council that the airport’s existing “common use” gates on Concourse D “are not satisfactory” for its large aircraft and the market it wants to serve.

“We look forward to continuing the on-going dialogue and hope to come to an agreement soon for two preferential gates that are suitable for both JetBlue and the airport and enable a September 2017 commencement of JetBlue service.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Woodward Academy: Q&A with visual arts teacher Andy Cunningham

Andy Cunningham finds it strange to say out loud that he’s worked for Woodward Academy for 32 years. When he joined the city’s oldest private college preparatory school in 1985, he had no plan to be a high school teacher. Cunningham, who holds a bachelor’s degree and MFA from Georgia State University, was the first black male on faculty...
Executives believe in collaboration, balance

The leaders of the top small, midsize and large workplaces shared what makes them proud and advice for companies trying to improve their corporate culture. Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity. Q: What are key components of the company’s culture? Pat Flood, regional operating partner, Supreme Lending’s Southeast region: Our...
Woodward Academy: Top Large Workplace

Students and faculty whiz around President Stuart Gulley in the foyer of the light-filled renovated Thalia N. Carlos Science Center, which re-opened in 2016 at Woodward Academy in College Park. During a change in classes, Gulley stops a student dressed in a blue blazer and khakis, Woodward’s school uniform, and brags about his success in a recent...
What AutomationDirect.com employees say

AutomationDirect.com ADC provides a spectacularly positive work environment and provides a frequent and detailed vision for the company! ADC is, hands-down, the best place I have ever worked! I am given complete freedom in deciding how to execute my work and the company provides the best resources to get the job done. The company culture is most inclusive...
AutomationDirect.com: Q&A with Leisa Cudworth in product management

Leisa Cudworth often uses her lunch hour to exercise. It’s easy for her to work up a sweat since AutomationDirect.com has onsite exercise programs and facilities. “You get to do it at lunch or different times (of the day), so when evening comes, you get to go home to your family,” she said. Cudworth, who has worked her way from inside...
More Stories