Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Image representing TheStreet as depicted in Cr... JetBlue-Southwest Battle at Newark?
By Ted Reed 08/31/10 - 01:49 PM EDT

In case Southwest(LUV) is thinking about using its new Newark slots to fly to Boston Logan, maybe it should think again.

(JBLU) said Tuesday it will begin Boston-Newark service starting in May 2011, with four daily departures. JetBlue is already the largest domestic carrier at Boston, serving 39 non-stop destinations, including New York's Kennedy Airport.

The announcement comes just four days after Southwest gained access to Newark as part of a deal that enabled United(UAUA) and Continental(CAL) to win regulatory approval for a planned merger.

Continental agreed to lease 36 slots, enough for 18 daily round trips, to Southwest. Southwest said it could begin service in March and operate a full schedule by June, but did not identify the markets it would serve.

In recent years, Boston Logan has become an airport with a major low-cost carrier presence, but so far the Newark route has been spared from intrusions.

The average Boston-Newark fare in the first quarter of 2010 was $280, Jet Blue said, adding that the new service will bring "the only low-fare competition into a notoriously high-fare market."

Massport Director of Aviation Ed Freni added: "With JetBlue entering the Newark market, another major destination from Boston will be served by a low cost carrier, and that means competition will lower fares and our customers will win."

Newark is not the only competitor's hub where JetBlue is adding Boston service. This fall it will add service to US Airways'(LCC) hub in Phoenix. Starting Nov. 1, it will add seven daily non-stops to Washington's Reagan National Airport, another US Airways stronghold.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. .

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