JetBlue, an American airline, has decided to tackle the Canadian market with a first service to Vancouver in 2022.
In the United States, JetBlue is credited with disrupting the market for major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines. Initially seen as a low-cost airline, it has moved upmarket by offering one of the best business classes in the United States with Mint.
It is still too early to know if the planes operating Canada-flights will be equipped with Mint. As a reminder, before COVID-19, Air Canada operated a flight between Vancouver and New York (EWR), offering the best possible experience for passengers with a B787 equipped with the “Signature” business class.
JetBlue operates a fleet of 100% Airbus aircraft, including the A220 (formerly Bombardier C-Series). And has a rewards program called TrueBlue.
Rather than launching short-haul flights from its hubs in New York or Boston to Toronto and Montreal, or medium-haul flights from its hubs in Fort Lauderdale or Long Beach to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, JetBlue has decided to cross the continent from one end to the other.
The Vancouver cruise market is no stranger to this. Besides winter sports, allowing Americans from Boston and New York to reach Western Canada stations, less expensive than Colorado’s.
What other flights afterwards?
Could JetBlue launch more flights to Canada? The big issue is the airport taxes and fees that we have in Canada, a major component of the airfare.
JetBlue is no stranger to Canadians living near the border: the airline serves Burlington (BTV) in Vermont, Buffalo (BUF) in New York State, just a few miles from the lines.
But if these new routes are successful, we could imagine JetBlue competing more with Canadian airlines on routes between Florida and Canada, for example!
After a disastrous 2020-2021 for the airline industry, this type of news is encouraging for the future and competition in Canada!