JetBlue will be ending year-round service between Portland and New York City, and will transition to a summer-only schedule.
Starting next year, the airline will end daily flights between Maine’s largest city and John F. Kennedy International Airport in the winter, city and airline officials said. Going forward, it will offer flights during the warmer months although a schedule has not yet been released.
A spokesperson for the low-cost carrier said that service to the Portland International Jetport will end in January and that it expects to resume flights sometime in the spring.
The change will mean fewer flights between Portland and the international airline hub in New York this winter, although Delta Air Lines will continue serve JFK, Jetport director Paul Bradbury said in a statement.
JetBlue said in a statement that it is transitioning to seasonal service in Portland “in response to customer travel patterns and demand,” while a Jetport representative said the change is part of a “nationwide network adjustment” by the airline.
Nonetheless, some Mainers reacted with dismay to JetBlue’s exit from the year-round market.
Sean Dundon, a city resident and chair of the Planning Board, said he’s long prefered to fly out of Portland but expects he’ll be traveling out of Boston more going forward.
“Prices to JFK will rise on Delta with no competition,” said Dundon, who noted he was speaking in a individual capacity. “As a loyal [member of a JetBlue reward program] and frequent air traveler, I am disappointed and don’t understand the rationale.”
People who have booked flights with JetBlue after Jan. 7 will be contacted by a company representative for “rebooking or refunding,” according to Zachary Sundquist, the JetPort’s assistant director.
The Jetport is owned and operated by the city, and Sundquist said that city employees will not lose jobs because of the change.
JetBlue said that employees affected by the change in service will be given priority in transfering to other routes or the “option for a severance that includes a mix of compensation and continued travel privileges.”
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