Jetblue Traffic Increases 7.7% While Capacity Grows

JetBlue Airways reported today that its traffic in November increased 7.7 percent from November 2008, on a capacity increase of 5.3 percent.


JetBlue

A revenue passenger mile equals one passenger flown one mile. November capacity increased 5.3% to 2.64 billion available seat miles from the year ago period. Load factor, or the percentage of seats filled with passengers, in November rose to 77.4% from 75.7% in the previous year.

JetBlue’s preliminary completion factor was 99.9 percent and its on-time(1) performance was 89.1 percent. JetBlue’s preliminary passenger revenue per available seat mile for the month of November decreased one percent year over year.

JetBlue also announced today that it will increase flights from Boston to the Caribbean by 25 percent. The news, which comes a month after the low-cost carrier revealed plans to increase its total number of flights out of Logan International Airport by 30 percent, positions it to become the biggest airline flying out of Boston.

Starting May 3, JetBlue will add weekly flights year-round to Aruba; Cancún, Mexico; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Montego Bay, Jamaica, and continue its daily service to Bermuda and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Last month, the airline also added flights to destinations outside of the Caribbean, including Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco. With all the additions, JetBlue will operate an average of 70 flights a day to 33 destinations.

That makes JetBlue the airline with the most flights out of Logan and puts it in line to become the top carrier in terms of number of passengers out of Boston, said Edward Freni, director of aviation at the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan. JetBlue, which already has the most destinations flying from Logan, currently is tied with American Airlines for the most passengers out of the airport, at about 3 million a year.

JetBlue’s announcement comes after US Airways recently said that it would drop six of its eight Caribbean destinations next winter – including San Juan, Montego Bay, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – and shut down its 327-person Boston crew base on May 2.

JetBlue, which stepped in to fill the gap left by US Airways, will continue to grow, said Scott Laurence, the airline’s vice president of route planning. “I think there’s more to come,’’ he said.

Ned Raynolds, a spokesman for American Airlines, which has 18 destinations and an average of 64 daily flights out of Logan, said the carrier isn’t concerned about JetBlue’s growing niche. “What is important for American Airlines is the quality of service and having the best route system that meets the needs of our New England customers,’’ he said.