BURLINGTON, Vt. — JetBlue, a longtime fixture at the Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport, is ending its daily flights to New York at the start of the year, marking the end of a two-decade run. This move is part of a larger trend, with other airlines also reducing flights to the Big Apple. Our station was the first one to break this story.
Starting on January 4th, JetBlue will no longer serve the newly renamed Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport. In a related development, Delta is reducing its services to JFK and LaGuardia in December and January. Both airlines cite a nationwide shortage of air traffic controllers as the reason for these cutbacks.
The departure of JetBlue is met with disappointment from Burlington travelers. Kate Rosche, a Delta passenger who flies through JFK to Burlington twice a year, expressed concerns about flight choices, times, and costs, which could affect her travel decisions. Michael Spinelli, a frequent flyer, noted the added complications due to fewer carriers serving the region.
JetBlue’s exit means the end of daily non-stop flights from Burlington to JFK International Airport, leaving travelers like Rosemary Szczygiel puzzled and concerned about the lack of options, especially given her family ties to rural Vermont.
Delta is also scaling back its service into New York, offering only one flight a day to JFK and two to LaGuardia. This nationwide issue is rooted in the shortage of air traffic controllers, which is forcing airlines to trim their schedules.
Seth Miller, an industry analyst at Pax Ex Aero, emphasized that understaffing in air traffic control affects the number of planes in the region, which, in turn, leads the Department of Transportation (DOT) to request a 10% reduction in flights for airlines operating in the New York City area.
JetBlue, which was the first to announce its decision to pull out, expects the air traffic controller shortage to persist, making it infeasible to reinstate the flight. The airline expressed gratitude for the support of Vermont’s community over the years.
Officials from Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport called the news disappointing. Officials revealed that 10% of its monthly travelers flew on JetBlue. But industry experts like Miller say the airport remains a convenient and friendly travel hub. The airport was recently recognized as one of the ten best small airports in the country by USA Today.
Following its renaming in honor of Vermont’s longest-serving senator, Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport is looking forward to expanding its services. The airport plans to collaborate with partners like United, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines to explore new opportunities. Active discussions are also underway with potential new airline partners to establish fresh routes and destinations.
Delta’s service reductions to LaGuardia will take effect in December, while the JFK cutbacks will be implemented in January. The final day of JetBlue’s service at the Burlington airport will be on January 4th. Customers who have already booked flights should take note of these changes
This story has been updated to include Delta’s announcement and will continue to be updated as more information become available.