In domestic route news, JetSuiteX adds service in another California Corridor market; JetBlue grows at Boston but cuts back flights to a key Caribbean destination; Alaska Airlines adds service at Albuquerque but reduces it at Portland; Sun Country unveils details of its new low-cost business model; and United will add a spoke at its Denver hub.
Niche carrier JetSuiteX plans to jump into another intra-California market in mid-November when it starts flying between Oakland and Burbank, using private terminals at both airports. The company – which operates public charter flights using 30-passenger E135 jets – said that it will offer three roundtrips every day except Saturday, with one-way fares starting at $129 (including up to two pieces of baggage). Last month, JetSuiteX kicked off new service between Burbank and San Jose with 12 flights a week. The company said its flights offer free drinks and snacks, wi-fi, business class-equivalent legroom, and minimal waiting time at the airport because it uses private terminals. JetSuiteX’s Oakland terminal is located at 9351 Earhart Road, Oakland, CA 94621
Did you know that JetSuite is partially owned by JetBlue? Read our post about that here.
JetBlue will add its 65th non-stop destination from Boston Logan next spring when it begins service to Minneapolis-St. Paul. It will operate three daily roundtrips in the market starting May 3, and is currently offering fares starting at $89 each way. It noted that MSP is the biggest domestic market not currently served by JetBlue. (It’s also the second big Delta hub JetBlue has infiltrated this year.) In other news, JetBlue is planning a big reduction in service to Puerto Rico due to damage on the island from two major hurricanes. San Juan is a big piece of JetBlue’s network, accounting for about 6 percent of its total capacity. But the carrier said it expects to cut capacity to San Juan by 33 percent, a reduction that will likely last through the end of 2018. The extensive hurricane damage and the resulting publicity mean that leisure travel to Puerto Rico is unlikely to recover for many months. By this year’s December holidays, JetBlue plans to shift a lot of that capacity to other Caribbean islands, but it hasn’t yet said which ones.
Alaska Airlines has launched new daily service from San Diego to Albuquerque as part of its continuing West Coast expansion. The carrier is using three-class, 76-seat E175s operated by its Horizon Air unit. At the same time, Alaska has added a second daily Albuquerque-Seattle non-stop. At Portland, meanwhile, Alaska is converting two routes from year-round service to seasonal: it will suspend Portland-Kansas City flights from December 1 to March 10, and will eliminate Portland-St. Louis service from November 28 through March 10.
As it converts its business model to that of an ultra-low-cost carrier, Twin Cities-based Sun Country Airlines has come out with details of new fares and fees, which are effective now for travel beginning January 19. The airline’s new product is called Bundle & Go pricing; the lowest fare level, called Grab & Go, allows travelers to carry on one personal item to stow under the seat, but no carry-ons (stowed in the overhead bin) or checked bags. The next level up, Check & Go for an extra $20, provides for one personal item and one checked bag, but no carry-ons. Store & Go fares, for an extra $30, include one personal item and your choice of one checked bag or one carry-on. Only first class fares are all-inclusive, providing for a personal item, a carry-on and two checked bags.
Got business in Scottsbluff, Nebraska? You can’t fly to its Western Nebraska Regional Airport right now, but the facility will regain airline service on February 1 when SkyWest is due to start flying there from Denver with 12 flights a week. SkyWest, which will operate under the United Express banner, recently won a federal Essential Air Services contract for the route.
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