United States Department of Transportation
20 April 2017
APPLICATION OF JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORPORATION FOR AN EXEMPTION AND ALLOCATION OF FREQUENCIES (DOT-OST-2016-0021)
"In light of Spirit and Frontier terminating service to Havana, Cuba, onMay31, 2017, and June 4, 2017, respectively, JetBlue hereby applies for seven weekly frequencies in order to provide additional non-stop service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Havana, Cuba, and to inaugurate the first ever non-stop service between Boston, Massachusetts and Havana, Cuba.
JetBlue proposes to begin the additional services on November 1, 2017, in order to capitalize on the success of JetBlue’s initial entry into Cuba, which has provided customers in both countries with access to JetBlue’s low airfares and award-winning service.
JetBlue currently provides daily non-stop service from New York to Havana, daily non-stop service from Orlando to Havana, and 13 times weekly service from Fort Lauderdale to Havana.
JetBlue wishes to provide additional service from Fort Lauderdale to Havana and requests six weekly frequencies in order to increase its service levels on that route. JetBlue also proposes to begin the first-ever non-stop service between Boston and Havana with Saturday service and requests one weekly frequency in order to inaugurate this service. JetBlue will use 162-seat Airbus A320 aircraft from its existing fleet with the following schedule:
As such, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 40109 and Subpart C of the Department’s Rules of Practice, JetBlue requests an exemption from 49 U.S.C. § 41101 authorizing it to engage in scheduled foreign air transportation service of persons, property and mail between Boston, Massachusetts and Havana, Cuba, and an allocation of seven weekly frequencies to serve Boston and Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue requests that its exemption authority be granted for a period of at least two (2) years and that the seven weekly frequencies be granted for an indefinite basis."
Three (3) United States airlines will cease their United States-Republic of Cuba routes; and they each report the same reasons: fewer passengers than expected, higher operating costs than expected, and unsustainable downward pricing competition.
Miramar, Florida-based Spirit Airlines, Inc. (2016 revenues exceeding US$2.3 billion) will be ending its United States-Republic of Cuba operations effective 1 June 2017.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Silver Airways (2016 revenues exceeding US$100 million) will be ending its United States-Republic of Cuba operations effective 22 April 2017.
Denver, Colorado-based Frontier Airlines (2016 revenues exceeding US$1.6 billion) will be ending its United States-Republic of Cuba operations effective 4 June 2017.
Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines (2016 revenues exceeding US$40 billion) has reduced flight frequencies and size of aircraft on routes.
Long Island City, New York-based JetBlue Airways (2016 revenues exceeding US$6 billion) has reduced size of aircraft on routes.
However, the three largest United States cruise lines have substantially increased the number of itineraries that include the Republic of Cuba scheduled for 2017 and 2018- at capacity transporting more than 185,000 passengers on more than 100 sailings.
Now, JetBlue Airways seeks additional routes.... Do they know something about what the Trump Administration is planning with respect to how its forthcoming policy review may be implemented?
The cruise lines did not require additional authorizations from the United States Department of State, United States Department of the Treasury or United States Department of Commerce to change their schedules.
The airlines require additional authorization(s) from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to service new routes.
Insightful will be the public comments, including from its competitors, Members of the United States Congress, and Governors relating to the filing by JetBlue Airways... and how the DOT responds.