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JetBlue says it will stop flying from Kansas City International Airport. Here’s why

Kansas City Star
Two years after JetBlue announced it was coming to Kansas City International Airport, the airline said it is leaving the city in an effort to reduce costs.

Starting June 13, JetBlue will no longer fly out of Kansas City and a few international destinations, like Bogota, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador, and Lima, Peru.

“These markets are unprofitable and our aircraft time can be better utilized elsewhere,” Dave Jehn, the airline’s vice president of network planning, said in a statement to employees.

This marks the first airline to leave KCI since the new terminal opened in February 2023.

The cuts come after a federal judge rejected the merger between JetBlue and Spirit Airlines in January, which the airlines agreed to in July 2022.

The two airlines terminated their plans to merge after the judge’s ruling, and JetBlue paid Spirit $69 million under the agreement.

JetBlue has lost more than $2 billion since 2019, its last profitable year, according to the Associated Press.

In its statement to employees, the airline said it was focusing on its “bread and butter” routes serving customers on the East Coast, traveling to the Caribbean and making long-haul cross-country flights.

In April 2021, the airline announced it would offer nonstop service from KCI to New York-JFK International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport, which began March 27, 2022.

The flights used Airbus A220 planes, which were equipped with broadband internet, on-board snacks and drinks and free DirectTV, according to a statement.

The New York-based airline is also dropping several domestic routes, including:

  • Los Angeles to Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami and Cancun.

  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Nashville; New Orleans and Salt Lake City

  • New York to Detroit

  • Orlando to Salt Lake City

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