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JetBlue to launch Boston-Philadelphia – Will it last?

by Vinay Bhaskara

New York based low cost carrier (LCC) JetBlue will be launching 5 flights per day between their second largest hub in Boston and Philadelphia beginning May 23, 2013. All flights will be operated with Embraer E190s

B62059 BOS 0640 – 0809 PHL E90 Daily
B62159 BOS 0845 – 1016 PHL E90 Daily
B62259 BOS 1124 – 1250 PHL E90 Daily
B62359 BOS 1505 – 1639 PHL E90 Daily
B62459 BOS 1810 – 1949 PHL E90 Daily

B61776 PHL 0845 – 1017 BOS E90 Daily
B62060 PHL 1055 – 1227 BOS E90 Daily
B62160 PHL 1325 – 1454 BOS E90 Daily
B62260 PHL 1715 – 1855 BOS E90 Daily
B62360 PHL 2025 – 2154 BOS E90 Daily

JetBlue’s primary competition on the route will be full service carrier US Airways, who operates 16 flights per day between Boston and its hub in Philadelphia. Several carriers have, in the past, attempted to challenge US Airways on the route, including full service carriers American Airlines and Delta Airlines, as well as LCCs AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines.

In each case, the competing airline was forced off of the route within 4 years – and even LCC powerhouse Southwest ended service on the sector in February, 2012. JetBlue is stronger in Boston in terms of frequent flyer base and demand base than any of those carriers ever were on either end, and the 5x daily frequency is certainly strong enough for business travelers (though not optimal – which would be in the 8-10x daily range). But even so, US Airways has successfully driven several airlines off of this route. It will be interesting to see how this route performs as JetBlue continues to strengthen its Boston hub over the coming months.

About Vinay Bhaskara

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