Spirit Airlines sees a merger with JetBlue as unattainable. Not for lack of interest, mind you. JetBlue’s cash offer of $3.6 billion still stands. But doubts around the likelihood of regulatory approval have Spirit’s Board of Directors recommending that it continue to move forward with the previously planned Frontier merger instead. Assuming even that can get past regulators.
Norse Atlantic Airways aims to replace a trio of Norwegian’s long-haul routes across the Atlantic Ocean next summer. In a filing with the US Department of Transportation the carrier indicated its intention to serve smaller, alternate airports in the New York City, Los Angeles, and South Florida regions from Oslo.
JetBlue and Norwegian intend to establish an interline agreement, allowing passengers to transfer more easily between the two carriers on a single ticket. But the partnership leaves many questions and questionable value for travelers, at least to start.
Consider this very unofficial and subject to operational changes, but the JetBlue A321neo now appears in the carrier’s schedule for domestic operations.
Building on yesterday’s report that JetBlue plans “aggressive” changes to its route network details the changes are now public. One new international destination joins the route map and several routes see increased frequencies. The carrier will also close three stations and shift one to seasonal service. A handful of routes will also be shuttered. This round of changes will begin to show in JetBlue’s schedule effective in January 2019.
The JetBlue route map should look very different later in 2019 compared to today. While transatlantic operations are not to be had in 2019 the current route network should see “aggressive” redeployment of aircraft. At risk of change are several destinations in the Midwest, as well as some smaller markets on the East Coast.
Let us assume, for a moment, that airlines are ridiculous but not outright stupid. That might be a stretch, but presumably they go in to any particular course of action with something resembling a plan. Which makes Norwegian’s use of the Hi Fly A380 this week incredibly baffling.