JetBlue will operate up to five daily flights to London from this Winter. And, perhaps more significantly, the carrier secured its first permanent slots at Heathrow, ensuring that flights can continue there.
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.
Frontier Airlines is pulling out of Newark. Just two years after it arrived, hot on the heels of Southwest’s withdrawal, the ultra low cost carrier says the economics of continuing operations in Newark no longer make sense. Washington-Dulles will also lose service as part of the company’s shift.
Vistara might finally be ready to fly to the United States, albeit with a connection en route. According to the latest regulatory filings for slots at London’s Gatwick Airport, Vistara plans to serve Newark from the UK, with continuing service to India.
Airlines operating to some of the largest US airports won a reprieve from regulators, extending a waiver put in place as the COVID pandemic began in early 2020. But this time around the waiver comes with a change in terms, one that could prove significant for US airlines.
One lucky airline will soon have access to 16 peak evening runway movement slots at Newark International Airport. The US Department of Transportation, as encouraged by a recent federal court ruling, will reallocate the slots previously held by Southwest Airlines and abandoned in late 2019.
Spirit Airlines could soon secure more slots at Newark Airport. A ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit found that the FAA acted improperly in choosing to not reallocate slots vacated by Southwest Airlines its Newark station closed in late 2019. As a result of that decision Spirit was unable to increase its presence at the airport. With this ruling, however, the FAA likely will be forced to allocate the slots and Spirit (or other airlines) could pick them up.
Slots are swapping. Routes are growing. And JetBlue is about to venture into uncharted territory. Phase two of the North East Alliance with American Airlines brings much of the change we were promised back in February, plus a few extra bits to digest.
The French government likely just spent the most money ever on airport landing slots. A €4 billion deal to recapitalize the Air France-KLM group will see a token divestment of operating slots at Paris-Orly airport, assuming a competitor is keen.
The highly anticipated launch of JetBlue’s service to London continues to draw attention as the carrier remains mum on which airport it will serve. But we now know that Heathrow has some slots available, though the carrier says it is keeping Gatwick open as an option as well.