JetBlue adds 24 new nonstop routes

JetBlue announced Thursday it will add two dozen new nonstop routes this year in an effort to capture traffic and generate cash after the coronavirus pandemic brought global travel to a near standstill.

The carrier said all of the new flights will take off in November and December and will cover regions that the company “anticipates increasing demand for leisure travel,” adding that tickets for the routes are now on sale.

In order to accommodate the increase in routes, the carrier will reactivate some of its temporarily parked jets.

“This latest series of new routes – even in the current environment – advances our revised network strategy, returns more aircraft to the skies and doubles down on our ability to generate more cash sooner,” said Scott Laurence, the head of revenue and planning at JetBlue.

The move comes as the industry works to rebound from a devastating loss of demand due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

However, JetBlue has been trying to capitalize on markets where there was an uptick in travel.

In June, the airline announced it would be adding 30 new domestic routes in markets where “leisure and VFR (visiting friends and relatives) travel is showing some signs of strength,” the company said. One month later, it entered into a partnership with American Airlines to “create more competitive options and choice for customers in the Northeast.”

Even still, in August, airline bookings in the United States stalled after slowly rising – a reaction to a new surge of reported virus infections. At that time, global air travel was still down more than 85% from a year ago, according to industry figures.

In its last announcement, JetBlue said it will allow market demand to determine how long a route will continue to operate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.