JetBlue has formally launched flights between New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), following a long-running quest to acquire slots at the Dutch airport.
The JFK-based airline will initially begin flying between the Big Apple’s airport and AMS “starting late this summer and service between Boston and Amsterdam to follow”. Amsterdam will join London, which became a JetBlue destination 2021, and Paris, which followed suit in June 2023.
“This route is long overdue for some competition,” stated Robin Hayes, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JetBlue. “For too long the U.S. legacy carriers, backed by their joint ventures with other global airlines that enjoy immunity from antitrust laws, have locked customers in with very expensive fares and mediocre service,” Hayes added. The CEO noted that, as with flights to London and Paris, JetBlue aims to “bring fares down and improve the experience for customers flying between the U.S. and Amsterdam”.
The airline will utilize an Airbus A321LR to fly between the two US cities and the Dutch capital, with 24 Mint (Business class) suites and 114 economy class seats. According to the Great Circle Mapper, the distance between JFK and AMS is 3,166 nautical miles (5,863 kilometers), while 3,004 nm (5,563 km) separates BOS and AMS. Airbus lists the A321LR’s maximum range as 4,000 nm (7,400 km).
According to JetBlue, a Dutch court’s latest ruling overturning the local government’s decision to reduce annual flight movements at AMS from 500,000 to 460,000 from November 2023 gave it “confidence there is room for it to enter the market”.
The company had complained to the United States (US) Department of Transportation (DOT) that the Dutch government treated it in a discriminatory manner and went on to receive slots at AMS. Nonetheless, it still noted that access issues could continue.
JetBlue received slots at the airport from the much-bankrupt Flybe, which were allocated on an ad-hoc basis and without any historic rights. As such, the airline would have to apply for permission to fly to AMS once again for the upcoming winter season.
At the time, the carrier said that “ACNL [Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL) – ed. note] has provided no explanation as to why these prior FlyBe slots, which had historic status, have been made available to JetBlue on only a temporary basis”. Furthermore, while JetBlue received the rights to fly to AMS, a “return to the status quo only a few months after any initiation of JetBlue service at AMS would be extraordinarily disruptive, precluding a U.S. carrier from maintaining any continuity of service in the Amsterdam air services market”.