It's official: JetBlue is returning to Atlanta

ATLANTA - It’s official: JetBlue is returning to Atlanta after an absence of more than 13 years.
 
JetBlue will begin flying from Atlanta on March 30, when it begins flying five daily round-trip flights to its hub in Boston on Airbus A320 aircraft. The carrier said it also “intends” to add additional service from Atlanta to its bases at New York JFK, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, though JetBlue did not specify a schedule or start date for those routes.
 
In announcing its return to Atlanta, JetBlue put the focus on its hub in Boston, where it already is the biggest carrier. The airline said it’s kicking off an effort to grow its schedule there “by more than 40% to 200 peak day departures.” JetBlue currently offers about 140 daily departures on its busiest days at Boston.
 
JetBlue previously flew to Atlanta in 2003, when it launched nonstop service to its focus city in Long Beach, Calif. The airline soon added a second California route (Oakland), but its stay in Atlanta would be short-lived.
 
The carrier withdrew from Atlanta after just six months, exiting amid a turf war that erupted between Delta and now-defunct AirTran and caught JetBlue in the crossfire.
 
Then-upstart AirTran was busy building its hub in Atlanta, but that expansion provoked a strong response from Atlanta-based Delta. Delta’s response ratcheted up after AirTran started nonstop flights between Atlanta and L.A.
 
In turn, Delta beefed up its own Atlanta-L.A. schedule to fend off AirTran, going to 13 daily round-trip flights from eight, according to media reports at the time. Fares plummeted amid the intensifying Delta-AirTran turf war. It also put pressure on JetBlue to cut fares on its Atlanta-California, ultimately prompting the airline to pull out.
 
"We just thought it was a little crazy," then-JetBlue CEO David Neeleman said in 2003 about the decision to leave Atlanta amid the intensifying battle between Delta and AirTran.

On August 31, JetBlue Flight 387 became the first commercial flight to Cuba since 1961. The airline took off from Fort Lauderdale and the airline hopes to have 110 daily flights to Cuba.

Photos | JetBlue makes commercial flight to Cuba


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