NEW YORK- JetBlue Airways (B6) has submitted slot applications for service to Lisbon in the upcoming summer season. Several other carriers, such as Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Korean Air (KE), Qatar Airways (QR), Saudia (SV), and WestJet (WS), have also made similar slot requests.
Delta (DL) has also applied for slots in Porto, Portugal. It’s important to note that applying for slots does not guarantee a launch but indicates the carriers’ intention to operate in these locations, reported Simple Flying.
JetBlue’s Potential Lisbon Service
JetBlue has reportedly requested 840 slots at Lisbon Airport for the summer 2024 travel season, which spans from March 31 to Oct. 26. If approved, this allocation would enable the airline to operate two daily takeoffs and two daily landings.
Although specific routes haven’t been detailed, the service is anticipated to operate daily from both New York JFK and Boston. This aligns with the network approach JetBlue typically adopts for its European destinations.
The flights, potentially utilizing the Airbus A321LR or even standard A321neos, would have a shorter duration than JetBlue’s other European routes.
Speculation suggests that if JetBlue were to add Lisbon to its route network, it would likely establish connections from its existing gateways, New York and Boston, which currently serve as the airline’s entry points for European flights.
The airline, known for its ambitious transatlantic growth, has successfully added routes to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, and Edinburgh within the past two years. Pending approval from Portugal, Lisbon could become JetBlue’s sixth European destination.
Challenges at Amsterdam
JetBlue’s pursuit of adding flights to Lisbon faces uncertainty due to slot constraints at Lisbon’s airport. JetBlue has not secured any slots at the airport, raising questions about the feasibility of introducing Lisbon to its route network by the summer of 2024.
This development comes as JetBlue recently navigated challenges at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS).
In reconsidering plans to reduce flight capacity at AMS, the Dutch government spared JetBlue from potential slot losses for the summer of 2024. JetBlue actively opposed the proposed flight caps, even appealing to the U.S.
Department of Transportation to restrict Dutch carrier KLM’s operations at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in response to the anticipated reductions at Schiphol.
Under pressure from the U.S. and the European Commission, the Dutch government temporarily suspended its plans.
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