JetBlue Temporarily Consolidates Service From Five US Cities

JetBlue will temporarily consolidate operations in five major metropolitan areas within the U.S. this spring amid unprecedented low demand for air travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

From April 15 through June 10, JetBlue will consolidate its operations in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C., with flights operating at one or, in some cases, only two airports in each region.

In New England, JetBlue will temporarily suspend service from Rhode Island’s T.F. Green International Airport, consolidating service at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Service will also be temporarily suspended at Hollywood Burbank Airport; Ontario International Airport; LaGuardia Airport; Westchester County Airport; Stewart International Airport; San Jose International Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The carrier announced that it will consolidate service at Los Angeles International Airport and Long Beach Airport in Southern California and John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in New York City.

“We face new challenges every day and can’t hesitate to take the steps necessary to reduce our costs amidst dramatically falling demand so we can emerge from this unprecedented time as a strong company for our customers and crew members,” said Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s head of revenue and planning.

JetBlue said that it also intends to file an exemption request with the U.S. Department of Transportation to temporarily suspend flying at other airports where current demand does not support service.

Overall, JetBlue has reduced flying network-wide by 80 percent per day in April in response to COVID-19.

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Southwest Airlines Temporarily Cuts Some Hawaii Routes

Southwest Airlines has suspended most of its service to the Hawaiian Islands.

The carrier has suspended 10 of its 12 between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii in light of the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine protocol that the Islands have put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Southwest president Tom Nealon said on the airline’s blog: “We’ve been preparing a temporary flight schedule that supports both the realities of this vastly diminished marketplace for visitors while underscoring our commitment to the communities of Hawaii with a plan to continue providing interisland service for business, medical and other essential travel.”

Starting April 5, 2020, the airline will offer two roundtrip flights daily between Oakland and Honolulu and reduce interisland flights to just twice-daily roundtrip service between Honolulu and airports across neighbor islands.

Customers affected by the changes can take advantage of Southwest’s additional flexibility offered through booking policies established as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Nealon noted that Southwest is dedicated to serving the Islands over the long term.

“We recently celebrated our first anniversary of serving Hawaii and we intend a long-term relationship between Southwest and the islands,” he said on the blog. “We also intend to keep our commitment to our Customers across the islands who need a predictable and vital connection in a time of so much uncertainty.”

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Jamaica Temporarily Closing Borders to Inbound Travelers

Jamaica is closing its borders to incoming travelers this weekend as government officials aim to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The Government of Jamaica announced that effective 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020, and for a period of 14 days in the first instance, Jamaica’s air and seaports will be closed to incoming passenger traffic,” the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica stated in a health alert published Friday.

“In light of this development and the Global Level 4 Health Alert issued by the Department of State, U.S. citizens who plan to depart Jamaica should coordinate with airlines to do so at the earliest opportunity.”

Jamaica had previously only imposed restrictions on travelers from heavily impacted countries such as China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Spain, France, Germany and the U.K.

The latest measures will not affect cargo or outgoing passengers. However, many countries around the world have issued their own travel bans and restrictions amid the COVID-19 crisis so Jamaican citizens will also be limited if choosing to travel at all.

“All the countries of the world are imposing restrictions and our attempt at trying to manage the potential crisis that we face has to include a reduction in the movement of persons,” said Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, via The Gleaner.

The US Embassy is committed to working with the GOJ and US airlines to ensure orderly departure of those US citizens who had plans to leave Jamaica over the next few days.

Palace Resorts & Le Blanc Spa Resorts also announced Friday that the all-inclusive Moon Palace Jamaica in Ocho Rios will remain open as of March 23 to continue to accommodate guests who choose to remain at the property.

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