In new domestic route activity, JetBlue’s first Mint-equipped aircraft starts flying between San Francisco and Boston, and the airline plans more flights out of Long Beach; Alaska Airlines adds a pair of new markets from Orange County Airport; Delta will soon kick off a new transcontinental route; United is about to add an East Coast spoke from its Denver hub; and Spirit Airlines jumps into a busy West Coast city pair.
JetBlue on Thursday (March 24) put an Airbus A321 equipped with its premium Mint cabin into service on one of its three daily flights between San Francisco and Boston. Mint service provides flat-bed seats, a small number of private suites, tapas-style dining, 15-inch flat screen monitors with DIRECTV, and free Fly-Fi Wi-Fi. A Mint-equipped A321 will be deployed on a second SFO-BOS flight starting April 20 and will be on all three effective September 20. The latest update on JetBlue’s plans for Los Angeles-Boston Mint service calls for one daily Mint flight to begin October 30, with all three daily flights on that route offering the premium cabin by November 17. (Here’s our Trip Report from JetBlue’s Mint service when it debuted last winter.)
Meanwhile, JetBlue also announced that it obtained some additional slots at Long Beach, California, which will enable it to begin new Long Beach-Reno/Tahoe flights starting August 15, and to add one more daily roundtrip to both its Long Beach-San Francisco and Long Beach-Oakland schedules effective August 15 and 16 respectively.
Speaking of Boston, we’re getting close to the launch of a new Delta transcontinental route between Boston and its fast-growing operation at Seattle-Tacoma International. April 4 is the scheduled starting date; Delta will use a 737-800 for the single daily roundtrip.
United Airlines plans an April 5 start for new service from its Denver hub, adding one daily roundtrip to Richmond, Virginia. The airline will use a 76-seat Embraer 175 with first class, Economy Plus and regular economy seating on the route, which at 1,482 miles will be the longest flight available out of Richmond.
Alaska Airlines continues to expand at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. Last week, it started flying from Orange County to Reno/Tahoe and to Santa Rosa, California, using 76-seat Q400 turboprops to operate one daily roundtrip in each market.
Spirit Airlines added a new point on its route map Thursday (March 24) with the beginning of service at Seattle-Tacoma. The airline’s first route there is to Los Angeles International, with two flights a day. In mid-April, Spirit will add a pair of daily Seattle-Las Vegas flights.
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