JetBlue will suspend or cut 27 routes this summer

While air travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels , oil prices continue to rise because of Russia's ongoing invasion Ukraine. 

JetBlue will suspend or cut 27 routes this summer

Experts believe that airlines are reducing their use of leisure routes created during the pandemic because longer-haul routes, which consume more jet fuel, make less sense financially.

According to Cirium, an aviation news outlet Simple flying, JetBlue will be closing or suspending 27 routes this year. Two routes will be permanently closed by the airline: Austin to Cancun, and Nashville to Cancun. The airline plans to resume operations on the remaining routes, which include many Florida destinations, in the fall.

JetBlue's Boston-Key West, Florida flight will be temporarily canceled on May 1, and resume its return October 30. The same schedule applies to the flight from JFK Airport in New York to Key West.

According to industry experts, trimming these routes is a practical business decision.

Andrew Didora, an analyst for Bank of America, stated that high fuel prices can make some routes unprofitable and not worth flying. "An increase in market capacity means that there is a better supply-demand dynamic."

He said that oil prices will remain high and that he expected a further "culling" of seats in off-peak times. Didora says that airlines won't cut flights at peak times on popular routes if there is high consumer demand.

JetBlue has a number of routes

Boston - Key West

Fort Lauderdale - Cartagena

Fort Lauderdale - Chicago, (O'Hare).

Fort Lauderdale - Cleveland

Fort Lauderdale - Grand Cayman

Fort Lauderdale - Portland, Oregon

Fort Lauderdale - Port of Spain

Fort Lauderdale - Providenciales

Fort Lauderdale - Seattle

Fort Lauderdale - St. Maarten

Hartford - Las Vegas

Hartford - San Francisco

New York (JFK), Key West

Los Angeles - Austin

Los Angeles - Raleigh Durham

Los Angeles - San Jose

Los Angeles - West Palm Beach

Newark - Atlanta

Newark - Austin

Newark - Charleston

Newark - Jacksonville

Newark - Las Vegas

Newark - Phoenix

Newark - Raleigh Durham

Newark - San Diego

There are fewer flights to Cancun, the party-spot.

JetBlue added leisure flights to Cancun, Mexico and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, during the initial phase of the pandemic. This was when very little business travel occurred, according to Willis Orlando (a flight specialist at Scott's Cheap Flights), a deal-tracking site.

They still have more routes than in 2019, but the big picture is that they are moving back to where it was. According to Orlando, CBS MoneyWatch reported that the demand for short-haul, warm-weather destinations such as Florida, New Orleans and Cancun was high during the pandemic.

As COVID-19 cases drop and pandemic restrictions are eliminated, passengers are more likely to travel to cities across Europe and beyond.

"Demand for these places is decreasing as people feel more comfortable traveling to cities." Orlando said that if I was in charge of pricing for an airline, I would suggest South Florida is a good choice.

CBS MoneyWatch reached out to JetBlue for comment but did not receive a response immediately.

Ongoing staffing challenges

Orlando believes that fuel costs and persistent staffing problems are being considered when adjusting the schedule.

"Staffing problems have been a constant drama throughout this pandemic for airlines. "We're expecting a summer that is as strong or more than 2019 in terms demand, and no airline wants a mid-summer meltdown where they have to cancel tons of flights because they can’t get staff in," he stated.

According to Adobe Analytics' report, airfare prices have risen this year but it has not slowed people's desire to travel. According to Vivek Paandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, "We already saw increases for February relative to January." However, consumers are able to handle the hikes so far because of a lot more enthusiasm for traveling," he said.

He said that airlines need to be smart if they want to take advantage of this high demand. Pandya stated that airlines are optimizing routes, adjusting prices to absorb fuel costs and manage the demand to keep the momentum going. This will allow them to continue their strong and successful year. "They are making decisions based on what they can afford, and how much consumers want to travel.