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JetBlue Set to Become Boston’s Biggest Carrier

JetBlue plans to announce a 25 percent expansion of its Caribbean service from Boston, according to Katie Johnston Chase at the Boston Globe. The move will make it the largest carrier at Boston’s Logan International Airport, both in terms of flights and passengers carried.

“Starting May 3,” Chase writes, “JetBlue will add weekly flights year-round to Aruba; Cancun, Mexico; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Montego Bay, Jamaica, and continue its daily service to Bermuda and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.”

The expanded service is on top of an overall 30 percent increase at Boston, announced in October. That expansion mostly focused on domestic routes, many of which are now served by Southwest after that carrier’s debut in Boston this past August. When all is said and done, JetBlue will operate roughly 70 flights to 33 destinations.

It’s no secret that Boston has become popular with low-cost airlines of late, mainly due to the cutbacks from larger airlines such as US Airways. As the Globe points out, “JetBlue’s announcement comes after US Airways recently said that it would drop six of its eight Caribbean destinations next winter—including San Juan, Montego Bay, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic—and shut down its 327-person Boston crew base on May 2.”

But of those low-cost carriers, JetBlue is by far the biggest, and certainly sees this as an opportunity to ward off advances from Southwest and Virgin America. In doing so, though, it makes itself a bigger target, especially for two airlines looking to grow. Should make things interesting here in New England.

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