Transport in Cuba
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JetBlue joins American in scaling back service to Cuba

JetBlue joins American in scaling back service to Cuba
Hugo Martin

When the Obama administration announced an agreement last year to allow
regularly scheduled flights into Cuba for the first time in more than
50 years, major U.S. airlines stumbled over each other to get access to
the island nation.

But now JetBlue says it is reducing its service to Cuba, becoming the
second U.S. carrier to cut back.

In December, American Airlines said it would drop one of the two daily
flights between Miami and the cities of Holguin, Santa Clara and
Varadero. The company cited weak demand in reducing its schedule to 10
daily round-trip flights from 13, starting in mid-February.

As of May 3, New York-based JetBlue will fly aircraft with fewer seats
to Havana, Santa Clara, Camaguey and Holguin. In total, JetBlue will fly
300 fewer seats a day to the Cuban destinations.

JetBlue would not attribute the cut in capacity to a decline in demand.

“It’s common practice to adjust schedules and … routes based on customer
preferences, especially routes that are new to the network,” said
JetBlue spokesman Philip Stewart.

Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines, which flies to Cuba from Los Angeles, said
it has not cut capacity or routes to Cuba. But a spokeswoman said it is
common for new routes to take years to develop consistent demand.

“Leisure markets tend to take a little longer to mature than business
markets, particularly markets like Havana that haven’t had commercial
air service for many decades,” Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.

Source: JetBlue joins American in scaling back service to Cuba – LA
Times –
www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-travel-briefcase-cuba-20170209-story.html

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