JetBlue Airways filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation a “capital-to-capital” application for permission to launch new nonstop service from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to San Juan, a route that has been unattended for quite some time, the company announced Monday.
JetBlue’s proposed new flights would be the only nonstop service between the U.S. capital’s preferred business airport and Luis Muñoz Marín Airport, which is located beyond the stateside airport’s 1,250-mile perimeter and is among the 10 largest markets without nonstop air service to Reagan National. The carrier is also looking to connect Ronald Reagan airport with the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas.
If it lands permission, JetBlue intends to offer one daily nonstop roundtrip flight to LMM, with connecting service to St Thomas.
“JetBlue’s proposed new service to San Juan and Austin will provide tremendous benefit to the traveling public,” said Robert Land, JetBlue’s senior vice president of government affairs and associate general counsel.
“JetBlue has long had a simple formula for deciding which markets to serve: we look for routes that are underserved, overpriced, or both,” he said. “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.”
JetBlue is Puerto Rico’s largest airline, with service between the island and 11 nonstop destinations throughout the U.S. mainland and the Caribbean.
JetBlue will further strengthen its connection to the island later this spring when it launches two new destinations from San Juan: Newark, N.J. on April 25 and West Palm Beach, Fla. on May 15.
Since its debut on the island a decade ago, the number of fliers traveling with JetBlue to/from San Juan has grown an average of 28 percent each year, the company said.
JetBlue launched service from Reagan National in November 2010, after more than a decade of attempting to enter the tightly restricted market. Despite being a small, limited incumbent carrier at highly concentrated Reagan National, JetBlue “has stimulated traffic, lowered fares, and garnered significant support in the capital region as a result of its low fares and unique brand of customer service,” the carrier noted.