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Apr 21, 2021

JetBlue expanding into Canada, 'high-fare' incumbents on notice

JetBlue expanding flights into Canada

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JetBlue Airways flights will soon head northward to Canada, as the popular carrier expands into this country for the first time.

The U.S. airline announced Wednesday that it will be touching down in Vancouver as its first Canadian destination, offering service from Vancouver International Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and seasonal flights to Boston Logan International Airport beginning in the summer of 2022.

“Almost since day one, both our customers and crewmembers have been asking us to add flights to the middle of the [U.S.] and into Canada,” said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning at JetBlue, in a release. “We can’t wait to shake up the status quo in these markets currently dominated by high-fare carriers…”

Amid a pandemic that has battered the airline sector, this new move has drawn optimism from the head of Vancouver’s Airport Authority.

“We’re delighted that JetBlue has selected Vancouver as its first Canadian destination with service from [Vancouver International Airport] to New York City and Boston,” said Tamara Vrooman, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Airport Authority, in a release.

“As we move through the pandemic and prepare for a safe and healthy return to non-essential travel, this new service… gives us all something to look forward to,” she said.

JetBlue’s foray comes at a time when Canada’s own battered airline industry is slowly regaining footing with added routes across the country and a federal aid package for Air Canada. However, Swoop President Charles Duncan cautioned in March that Canadian airlines could be vulnerable to foreign competitors that have been bolstered by more sector-specific aid from their governments.

Along with debut flights to Canada, JetBlue also announced it would grow its presence in the U.S. Midwest, Southeast, Texas and Latin American markets. JetBlue also plans to expand service between the key destinations of Boston and New York.