Alex Goldmark is a senior producer in the newsroom for New Tech City and Transportation Nation.
Is JetBlue Planning N.Y.-D.C. Shuttle?
Friday, December 02, 2011 - 03:31 PM
"We just won the slots and are reviewing what we can and can't do, so I wouldn't rule anything out," Mateo Lleras, JetBlue spokesman told Transportation Nation. "We haven't announced anything yet," he said, adding he doesn't expect any official news to come out for "a few weeks." There are restrictions on what routes can be flown from each airport -- from LGA, less than 1,500 miles, and from DCA, less than 1,250.
JetBlue and the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday that that the discount airline, with a hub at New York's larger and less convenient JFK airport, and Canadian carrier WestJet had won an auction for slots being divested from Delta airlines.
JetBlue will pay $40 million for eight pairs of daily slots at Reagan National (DCA) and $32.0 million for eight slot pairs at LaGuardia (LGA). A slot pair allows for one arriving and one departing flight per day at an airport. Delta's popular LGA to DCA shuttle leaves roughly once an hour during business hours.
JetBlue already offers limited flights from LGA and DCA, but none between the two.
The U.S. DOT and the FAA required Delta and US Airways to divest a total of 48 slots between the two airlines as a condition for granting them permission to exchange other slots at LGA and DCA.
Across the country, short haul flights have been on the decline over the past years. While on the Northeast corridor, bus and train travel has grown rapidly.