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JetBlue operates its first Cuban charter flight from New York JFK to Havana

JetBlue Airways (New York) yesterday (July 3) operated its first weekly charter flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Havana’s José Martí International Airport (HAV). JetBlue becomes the first major U.S. carrier to fly the route since travel restrictions were eased earlier this year.

With the addition of the flights between New York and Havana, JetBlue now operates five weekly round trips to Cuba, including flights from Tampa (TPA) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) with various charter partners. As the largest U.S. airline to the Caribbean, Cuba will one day play an important role in JetBlue’s overall network in the region.

The New York-Havana charter service was announced in May shortly after a successful trade mission trip to Cuba with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor, joined by JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes and other New York business leaders, led a dialogue to connect Empire State businesses to new opportunities in Cuba.

Cuba Travel Services is offering the flight, operated by JetBlue, on Fridays from New York.

Cuba Travel Services Inc. arranges daily, nonstop public charter flights between the United States and Cuba and is licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as an authorized Carrier Service Provider specializing in travel to Cuba. They offer full service travel arrangements to individuals, groups, families, educators, students, professionals and organizations, under Specific or General Licenses issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N586JB (msn 2160) in the special “I Love New York” scheme taxies from the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

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JetBlue Airways files to serve Antigua from New York

JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced its continued expansion in the region as it filed an intent to serve Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) three times weekly from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), with the aim to launch service on November 5, subject to receipt of government operating authority.

Additionally, the airline will add seasonal weekly service from Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) to Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI), which will launch November 7, subject to receipt of government operating authority.

The Boston-Barbados flight is the fifth new seasonal service to the Caribbean and Latin America launched from Boston in the last year following Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR); Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (POP), which begins June 17; Saint Lucia (UVF); and Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP). JetBlue also recently announced it would offer its highly successful Mint experience on flights between JFK to Barbados this winter with Saturday service between November 7, 2015 and April 30, 2016, and daily service between December 19, 2015 and January 4, 2016.

The weekly Boston-Barbados flight will complement JetBlue’s existing daily service from New York JFK, which was launched in 2009.

JetBlue’s flights to both Antigua and Barbados will be operated on a 150-seat Airbus A320.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N586JB (msn 2160) in the special “I Love New York” livery taxies to the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

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JetBlue becomes the first U.S. airline to implement personal electronic devices from gate to gate

JetBlue Airways (New York) received approval for gate-to-gate personal electronic device (PED) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at 4:15 p.m. ET on November 1, and implemented the policy immediately. The very first commercial flight of any U.S. airline to allow gate-to-gate PED use was JetBlue’s flight 2302 from New York’s JFK to Buffalo, scheduled departure time 4:30 p.m. All JetBlue customers were immediately allowed to start using personal electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, on all flights.

Prior to the new policy, customers had to turn off and stow all electronic devices during taxi, takeoff, landing and when the aircraft was below 10,000 feet. The new policy allows JetBlue customers to use smart phones, tablets, games and other smaller electronic devices at any time during taxi, takeoff and during flight, unless otherwise instructed by a crew member. Laptops must be stowed for taxi, takeoff and landing.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N586JB (msn 2160)  in the special “I Love NY” scheme arrives at Washington (Reagan National).

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Like most carriers, JetBlue Airways restores full operations in the storm-ravaged New York area

JetBlue Airways Corporation (New York) reports the following impact of Hurricane Sandy, and its plans to help the community recover.

Operations are fully restored to the JetBlue airports impacted by Hurricane Sandy, including all New York metropolitan airports, and the airline expects to resume its full schedule today, November 3, 2012.

JetBlue customers booked for travel through Sunday, November 4, 2012 may rebook without fee through November 14. Customers who purchased tickets on or before October 28, 2012 and booked for travel through the end of the year who find themselves unable to travel may convert the full value of their ticket into a credit valid for one year.  Full details are available here: http://bit.ly/ME6Gx4

JetBlue is matching the first $100,000 in donations made to the American Red Cross via its website (http://jetbluegives.org/).  In addition, the company is donating $250,000 to the JetBlue Crewmember Crisis Fund, a 503(c) independent non-profit designed to support JetBlue crewmembers, and will match, dollar for dollar, all crewmember donations to the fund through November 30, 2012.

“New York is our hometown, and accordingly, we had a large number of crewmembers, customers and neighbors in harm’s way this week. Our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones and suffered catastrophic property loss throughout the Northeast,” said JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger.

Although JetBlue cancelled 1,484 flights in October due to Hurricane Sandy, the overall financial impact to JetBlue’s October profitability is not expected to be material. JetBlue cancelled 230 additional flights in November due to Hurricane Sandy, and the company expects short term demand to soften as customers focus their attention to recovering from the storm. As a result, fourth quarter impact is expected to be material.

“The storm is not yet behind us,” Mr. Barger said. “Our families and communities are focused on rebuilding.  The JetBlue family is here to help. I would like to thank JetBlue’s 14,500 crewmembers for their commitment to running a reliable operation for our customers at this difficult time, as well the City and State of New York, the City of Newark, the State of New Jersey, all of the first responders including police, fire and emergency medical technicians, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their leadership and partnership. We are ready, willing and able to do our part and more to get our hometown back to business as usual.”

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. JetBlue is proud to be considered New York’s airline. Airbus A320-232 N586JB (msn 2160) displays the “I Love NY” special livery on the ramp at New York (JFK). During the storm, nearby LaGuardia Airport was under water due to the storm surge which pushed water in from Long Island Sound on to the runways and the eastern ramps.

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Many of our friends and readers are suffering in the affected areas, especially in the New Jersey shore, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Hoboken. Please give what you can to the American Red Cross: 

JetBlue to fly to Cartagena, Colombia

JetBlue Airways (New York) plans to add another Caribbean gem to its network: Cartagena, the vibrant city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Starting on November 2, 2012, subject to receipt of government approval, travelers will be able to fly to and from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport three times per week – the only nonstop service between New York and Cartagena.

Cartagena will be JetBlue’s second destination in Colombia and its third route to the country. Earlier this summer, JetBlue added a daily Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to Bogota service to complement its existing daily Orlando to Bogota route. The airline has offered service to Colombia since 2009.

JetBlue’s schedule between New York and Cartagena:

New York (JFK) to Cartagena (CTG): Cartagena (CTG) to New York (JFK):
Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive
8:25 a.m. – 1:10 p.m. 2:05 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
– Flights operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays effective November 2, 2012 –

– All times local –

JetBlue’s flights between New York and Cartagena will be operated with its Airbus A320 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom.