JetBlue adding 30 new routes as summer travel demand increases

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JetBlue is adding 30 new routes between July and October as passenger travel begins to increase and coronavirus restrictions relax.

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The airline announced the new routes on Thursday, which will be added in markets where travel for leisure and visiting family and relatives is showing "signs of strength."

JetBlue will operate more than half its typical capacity during the summer months with nine temporarily closed cities and seasonal destinations set to reopen in early July, per a press release.

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Locations in Puerto Rico, vacation destinations Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, and cities in Texas, Pennsylvania and Oregon, among others, will be reopening for flights at least once a day.

jetBlue will operate more than half its typical capacity during the summer months with nine temporarily closed cities and seasonal destinations set to reopen in early July. (iStock) (iStock)

The new routes will reportedly offer the carrier an "opportunity to generate revenue" by using more planes in their fleet that have been grounded during the pandemic.

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"Coronavirus has transformed airline route maps, and as we begin to see small signs of recovery, we continue to be flexible with our network plans to respond to demand trends and generate cash in support of our business," said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning, JetBlue. "We've selected routes where customers are showing some interest in travel again and where our low fares and award-winning experience will be noticed."

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The travel industry saw a 96 percent loss in passenger travel during the peak of mandated shelter in place orders. Since March, travel has been losing revenue, but only a recent uptick in-flight increase in the last month.

In May, United, among other major U.S. carriers reported a $10 billion monthly cash burn due to grounded and canceled flights.

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According to Reuters, airlines are projected to lose hundreds of billions of dollars, with an estimated $314 billion loss across international carriers in May. Airlines are not expected to return to pre-pandemic travel levels for five years, according to Boeing CEO David Calhoun.

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