After months of talking about linking up with a partner, Kennedy International-based
has finally done so -- in Boston.
JetBlue said Wednesday it will team with Hyannis, Mass.-based Cape Air to offer easy connections at Boston's Logan Airport, where the two carriers share a terminal. The agreement allows passengers with a single ticket to connect and transfer baggage between JetBlue flights serving 20 destinations and Cape Air flights serving four destinations. It takes effect March 19.
"We thought that if we provided a more seamless approach and connected bags and let people from our flights on to Cape Air flights, we would have a lot more business," JetBlue CEO David Neeleman told reporters on a conference call. In the past, passengers have bought two tickets for such trips and reclaimed bags before the second leg, he said.
Fares for the Cape Cod segments will decline in some cases by $30 to $40, but there may be no declines on peak seasonal flights, Neeleman said. The deal should bring new revenue, in the millions of dollars, to JetBlue, he said.
For employee-owned Cape Air, the deal should mean more passengers, with annual load factor increasing to the mid-60% range from its current 53%, said President Dan Wolf. The airline flies nine-seat Cessna 402's from Boston to Hyannis, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Provincetown.
Under the agreement, passengers may book partnered flights through JetBlue, but not from Cape Air. JetBlue will buy seats as needed from Cape Air, at a reduced rate.
Additionally, JetBlue said it will launch seasonal nonstop Kennedy-Nantucket service, aboard a 100-seat E190, from May 24 through Sept. 24.
Neeleman said JetBlue is working on more partnerships, most likely involving international airlines operating at Kennedy, but they "take a long time." Last week, Ireland's Aer Lingus and JetBlue said they are working out details for an arrangement to allow their passengers to connect at Kennedy, from which JetBlue serves 51 destinations.