VANCOUVER — Discount U.S. airline JetBlue is expanding its operations with its first flights to Canada.
The New York-based airline says it will launch flights between Vancouver and New York, as well as seasonal service to Boston, starting in the summer of 2022.
The move is part of plans to add seven destinations to its route map from New York or Boston starting later this year. It is also adding Honduras.
JetBlue says in a news release the expansion is part of the next phase of the alliance between JetBlue and American Airlines that was authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation earlier this year.
The move comes ahead of what the travel industry hopes will be a surge in travel from pent-up demand as COVID-19 vaccinations expand and the pandemic wanes.
Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning at JetBlue, says customers and crew members have been asking to add flights to the middle of the U.S. and into Canada.
"We can’t wait to shake up the status quo in these markets currently dominated by high-fare carriers," he stated.
JetBlue will have to compete with Canadian airlines, including Air Canada and WestJet Airlines.
Vancouver Airport Authority CEO Tamara Vrooman says it is "delighted" that JetBlue has selected Vancouver as its first Canadian destination.
"As we move through the pandemic and prepare for a safe and healthy return to non-essential travel, this new service, scheduled for Summer 2022, gives us all something to look forward to."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2021.
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