JetBlue’s First Flight To Canada Takes Off

JetBlue commences its first flights to Canada today with the start of daily services between New York and Vancouver.

JetBlue is making its first foray into Canada with the start of flights between New York and Vancouver on Thursday. Not only does today mark JetBlue’s first venture into the Canadian market, but JetBlue also becomes the only airline to fly nonstop between New York JFK and Vancouver. The daily flights add to JetBlue’s rapidly growing route network.

The only nonstop flights between New York JFK and Vancouver

Pushing back from New York (JFK) every day at 18:59, flight B6603 will take six and a half hours to fly west to Vancouver (YVR), landing there at 22:26. The plane will spend just 60 minutes on the ground before turning around to operate B6604 back to JFK. The flight back east closes its doors at YVR at 23:30 and flies through the night to touch down at JFK at 07:48 the next day.

JetBlue will use Airbus A320 aircraft on the run to Vancouver. It’s an all-economy aircraft, and JetBlue optimistically says its A320s “are getting a makeover, with innovative tech, modern interiors and details travelers crave.” But on a six-hour plus flight, especially the red-eye back to JFK, some passengers might crave a plane fitted out with Mint seats more.

“The addition of Vancouver to our route map marks an important milestone for JetBlue as our first Canadian destination,” said Andrea Lusso, Vice President of Network Planning at JetBlue. “We look forward to not only introducing our outstanding service and competitive fares to Canadian customers but also providing access to all the cities we serve from New York.”

JetBlue’s bumpy 2022 growth trajectory

JetBlue already flies to more than 110 cities throughout the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom. In recent months the airline has launched flights from Boston (BOS) and New York to Kansas City (MCI) and Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE), as well as flights from JFK to Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta’s Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR).

JetBlue attributes much of its recent growth to its controversial Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines. JetBlue says the partnership has facilitated new opportunities, notably out of their New York and Boston hubs. But labor shortages have forced JetBlue to trim their summer schedules after earlier this year suggesting they were on track for a record-breaking summer of flying. Among the casualties was a planned daily service between Boston and Vancouver slated to start flying next week. JetBlue cited “operational refinements” when it axed the flights last month.

“While we will no longer offer nonstop flights between Vancouver and Boston this summer, customers traveling to or from Boston will be able to connect easily to our Vancouver flights with our extensive service between New York and Boston,” the airline said in a statement in mid-May.

A win for Vancouver Airport and passengers

Still, at least one of JetBlue’s planned Vancouver flights has gotten off the ground, which is good news for Vancouver Airport and for passengers who can finally fly between New York and Vancouver without a layover.

“We are thrilled to welcome JetBlue to YVR and are proud to make Vancouver the airline’s first Canadian destination in its growing North American network,” said Russell Atkinson, Director of Air Service Development at Vancouver Airport Authority. “JetBlue brings another direct link between Vancouver and New York City. The new nonstop service to JFK is an important connection between our two regions for both business and leisure travel, further strengthening YVR’s position as a diverse hub and directly benefiting our community and the economy that supports it.”

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