JetBlue will begin serving Atlanta on March 30.
The discount carrier’s entry into Delta-dominated
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world,
will begin with five flights per day to Boston.
JetBlue also intends to add service between Atlanta and its
focus cities of Fort Lauderdale, New York and Orlando, though the carrier
provided no specifics on those potential routes.
“The addition of Atlanta answers calls from both customers
and crew members, who have made Atlanta JetBlue’s most requested new
destination,” the carrier said in a statement Wednesday. “The new route will be
especially attractive to JetBlue’s Boston-based business customers who have
long requested that the airline serve this important market.”
In a letter this summer to Hartsfield-Jackson, JetBlue
specified that it wanted to enter the Atlanta market with 16 daily flights.
Dave Clark, the carrier’s vice president of network planning, wrote in that
letter that JetBlue believes that the Atlanta market is overpriced and suffers
from a dearth of competition. Seventy-three percent of the passengers that fly
in and out of Atlanta are carried by Delta, according to Bureau of
JetBlue served Atlanta for a short time in 2003. It launched service to Oakland and Long Beach, Calif., but pulled out later that year because of intense competition from Delta and AirTran.
The addition of the Boston-Atlanta route is part of
JetBlue’s plan to increase its peak daily service out of Boston Logan from its
current 140 flights to 200 flights. On Wednesday, the carrier announced
beefed-up frequency for service from Boston to San Francisco, Montego Bay and
JetBlue is currently the largest carrier in Boston, carrying
29% of the passengers that pass through the airport. Last month, Delta, Logan’s
fourth-largest carrier, unveiled plans for an expansion out of Boston through