RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – JetBlue is grounding service between Richmond and New York's JFK Airport. The airline says it will cancel the route on November 1, 2010 because those flights have not been profitable for the company.
JetBlue launched its RIC/JFK flights back in 2006 with four flights daily. Right now, the company offers two non-stop flights between the two airports but that will soon change.
"It's obviously disappointing to us," said RIC Spokesperson, Troy Bell.
RIC says the passenger load on JetBlue flights to JFK is up, but premium travel on the route is down.
"Premium travel is usually purchased by business travelers. It's usually closer to the departure date and usually it's a higher fare than somebody that has the ability to buy a sale fare or purchase way in advance," said Bell.
In a statement JetBlue says, "The route has under-performed expectations for some time, and we just didn't see enough demand from Richmonders for these flights. We have decided to redeploy the aircraft to more profitable opportunities."
Sanjay Mittal lives in Richmond and flies JetBlue every other month. He wonders if JetBlue's decision to discontinue the route will result in other airlines at RIC raising rates.
"They'll have more people and less flights and demand will change," said Mittal.
Once JetBlue is out of the equation RIC customers can choose among three other carriers at the airport.
"We'll be watching closely to make sure our fares are in line with markets around us -- they're not going to go down with taking a competitor out," said Bell.
JetBlue will continue service from Richmond to Boston, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
If you've booked a flight beyond that November first route cancellation date JetBlue says customers can get a refund. The company says its reservation team will be reaching out to impacted customers. Customers can also call 1-800- jet blue if they have question.