May 25, 2024


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JetBlue Worcester-to-NYC flight could be lost in airline agreement

WORCESTER — Worcester Regional Airport’s flight to JFK International Airport in New York City may be on the chopping block, as it is one of three routes exempted from a recently approved agreement that keeps JetBlue Airways flying routes from New York City.  

a large air plane on a runway: JetBlue suspended flights from Worcester Regional Airport in June.

© File Photo
JetBlue suspended flights from Worcester Regional Airport in June.

But the airline said in a statement it will “continue to evaluate” its service levels. 


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“The agreement released last week by the US Department of Transportation regarding the strategic alliance between JetBlue and American Airlines reflects JetBlue’s temporary suspension of Worcester service, but does not reflect our future plans for Worcester,” JetBlue spokeswoman Julianna Bryan said in a statement. “We continue to evaluate our service levels while we navigate the current economic climate and travel demand.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation last week approved the so-called Northeast Alliance agreement between JetBlue and American Airlines, which provides what an article on called an “unprecedented” level of cooperation between the two carriers. 

The airlines jointly announced the “strategic partnership” in July, and said it would provide customers with benefits including access to more flights through code sharing — a marketing arrangement in which an airline places its designator code on a flight operated by another airline, and sells tickets for that flight, according to the DOT — swapping slots at New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports, and reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits.  

The DOT had to review and approve the agreement, however, as airline competitors Spirit Airlines and Southwest Airlines objected to the deal and the proposal raised antitrust concerns, Nasdaq reported.

In order to gain the DOT’s blessing, JetBlue and American made several concessions. 

One of the concessions stipulated that JetBlue not leave any markets it served year-round from JFK as of last February. 

Unfortunately for Worcester, it was one of three routes exempted from this stipulation. Flights between Long Beach Airport and Oakland Airport were the other two routes.

The connection between Worcester Regional Airport and JFK was announced in 2017, and flights began in 2018. JetBlue suspended the flights in June due to the pandemic.

Massport, the owner and operator of Worcester Regional Airport, referred questions to the airline.

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: JetBlue Worcester-to-NYC flight could be lost in airline agreement

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