Notwithstanding the extremely short notice, JetBlue will launch services to Amsterdam from New York JFK and Boston ‘late this summer.” The airline was offered slots only in early March for just the current summer season, but JetBlue is keen to open up the route to Amsterdam for more competition. JetBlue to launch Amsterdam services in late summer.
“This route is long overdue for some competition,” CEO Robin Hayes says in a media statement that was released today. “For too long the US legacy carriers, backed by their joint ventures with other global airlines that enjoy immunity from antitrust laws, have locked customers in with very expensive fares and mediocre service. Just like we’re doing in London and Paris, we will bring fares down and improve the experience for customers flying between the US and Amsterdam.”
As reported last month, JetBlue has tried to get slots in Amsterdam for some years but was consistently denied access as the Dutch slot coordinator ACNL cited capacity constraints. JetBlue launched a legal case against the Dutch state and sought support from the US Department of Transportation. ACNL unexpectedly offered former Flybe slots on March 8, which JetBlue most willingly accepted. Still, the carrier advised the DOT to continue the complaint as it felt that not just JetBlue but other US airlines too were disadvantaged by the planned capacity reductions at Schiphol.
In the press release, JetBlue refers to the recent court case in which it participated with other airlines to protest the planned capacity reduction from November. “Last week, a Dutch court ruled that the Dutch government failed to follow the law when it sought to reduce the cap on Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s annual air traffic movements, giving JetBlue confidence there is room for it to enter the market.” Earlier today, the Dutch Transport Minister, Mark Harbers, said that the government will appeal.
JetBlue hasn’t shared details of its time schedule to Amsterdam, saying that this is subject to receipt of government operating authority. At the same time, the airline says that it will start offering seats for the Amsterdam-JFK and Amsterdam-Boston and the other way round flights soon. The initial slots offered by ACNL were for flights that arrived in Amsterdam around 3 pm, which was not very appealing to US travelers as the flight would have to depart New York around 1.20 am local time. JetBlue has been offered different time slots, but no details have been shared so far.
Also, the slots were offered for the current summer schedule only. Now that the Dutch court has overruled the government to cut capacity this summer, there might be options for JetBlue to uphold the Amsterdam services in the coming winter season too. The airline will operate the routes with its Airbus A321LRs. Amsterdam will become the third European city to be served by JetBlue after London (since August 2021) and Paris (June 2023).
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.