JetBlue and Virgin America to fly San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale

By | August 11, 2009
Cabin of a Virgin America A320
Image via Wikipedia

Jetblue and Virgin America decided to announce San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale service.

Jetblue will begin service on November 17th, with a redeye flight leaving San Francisco 11:30PM and arriving 7:50AM, returning at 7:15PM and arriving at 10:35PM. In between, JetBlue can deploy the plane on its east coast network. Connections will be available to Nassau and San Juan are available. Jetblue insists that the route was in the works, and was not in response to Virgin. The timing, may have been due to Virgin, although they will never admit it.

Virgin America, earlier today, announced the same route. They will offer twice daily service beginning November 18th, a day after Jetblue. They will offer an 11:40AM departure, arriving 7:40PM, and an 11:40PM, arriving 8AM. Returns will be at 10:30AM and 8:30PM, arriving at 2PM and 11:59PM respectively.

Miami was the favored choice for Virgin in South Florida, as they prefer to serve major airports as opposed to secondaries, but Ft. Lauderdale has its advantages. It draws in people from both the Miami and the West Palm Area, and is in between both of them. Virgin’s CEO insists they have few plans to connect their East Coast cities of Washington, New York, and Boston with their new Florida destination, feeling these markets are well served, focusing on the West Coast over East.

Virgin America is looking at corporate cities, which provide lucrative business and leisure travel. This includes Atlanta, Dallas, Newark, Philadelphia, and Austin. Internationally, Toronto is being looked at. They are also trying to secure space at Chicago-O’Hare, which has been a problem for them. They will also be looking at securing more space at JFK, possibly for flights nonstop to Seattle and San Diego, which they already serve from elsewhere.

Let the ‘friendly’ competition begin. Maybe, if we see more from Virgin on Twitter, we’ll spot a Virgin America-JetBlue meetup, similar to their joint Guitar Hero challenge.

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