While things are definitely looking up for the airlines, JetBlue's updated flight schedules are a stark reminder that air travel is unlikely to look the same as before.
JetBlue's filed routes for the fall show they are either cutting routes entirely, or are being reduced to fit seasonal demand.
In total over 30 routes are either being cut or reduced.
JetBlue Makes Big Cuts in Florida
JetBlue is cutting big in Florida. Routes such as Ft. Lauderdale to Pittsburgh, Ft. Myers to Cleveland and Orlando to Austin, Philly and San Francisco are being cut or reduced.
Flights in Tampa (TPA) and Palm Beach (PBI) are also getting whacked.
Raleigh-Durham Gets Hit
The airline is cutting 8 routes from Raleigh-Durham (RDU): Austin (AUS), Orlando (MCO), Jacksonville (JAX), Fort Myers (RSW), Las Vegas (LAS), Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ), San Francisco (SFO), Tampa (TPA).
2 Austin routes are also being cut.
Many of the Routes Were Created During the Pandemic for Leisure Getaways
JetBlue added a slew of flights during the Pandemic to meet demand for people wanting to go to more 'virus friendly' destinations such as Florida.
Now it appears the carrier is adjusting its network in advance to the return of business travel.
What is Business Travel Really Going to Look Like?
What will be the percentage of business travelers that will return to the airport vs. the ones who stay home in their Underoos sitting on Zoom calls with Frosted Flakes?
Does anybody REALLY know?
There are just too many questions: Will there be a big resurgence in the virus next winter? And will companies be compelled to keep more workers at home to cut their overhead?
This will be the balancing act that airlines will have to perform for years in to the future as they try to optimize their networks.
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