JetBlue has announced that they will follow suit and become the third major U.S. airline to reduce capacity to Cuba since the regular commercial passenger service to the Cuba resumed since August. JetBlue has maintained that they will not reduce flight schedules nor will they eliminate any of their Cuban destinations and will instead opt to downsize to smaller aircrafts along its already existing routes.
JetBlue has estimated that this move will free up more than 300 seats from the current JetBlue Cuban schedule. Philip Stewart says that this move comes down to better fleet utilization and that its fairly common practice to adjust the schedules and fleet type based on the preference of their customers. This is especially true for routes that are new to the network and JetBlue will continue to operate their schedule of 50 weekly round trip Cuban flights.
JetBlue is following in the footsteps of Silver Airways and American Airlines who have also downsized the capacity of their Cuban routes. This is in response to the Cuba flights under performing when American Airlines reported declining third-quarter earnings. Don Casey, Senior Vice President of Revenue Management for American Airlines believes that industry-wide everybody is struggling in terms of selling Cuban flights due to the many restrictions that are in place that have made it difficult to sell.
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