JetBlue will add nonstop service between Washington Reagan National (DCA) and Jacksonville, Fla.
The carrier will fly two daily round-trip flights on the route starting Dec. 18, the same day it will launch previously announced new routes between DCA and two other Florida destinations: Fort Myers and West Palm Beach. JetBlue will use 100-seat Embraer E190 jets on the Jacksonville route.
JetBlue is able to add the flights from capacity-controlled DCA thanks to the "slots" it received as part of a deal between American Airlines and the Justice Department. The deal, which cleared the way for American's merger with US Airways, required AA to give up 104 slots (the equivalent of 52 round-trip flights) at DCA.
In aviation vernacular, a "slot" gives an airline the right to one takeoff or one landing. DCA is one of just a handful of U.S. airports where capacity is controlled by a slot system. JetBlue received 24 slots— enough for 12 round-trip flights — as part of American's divestiture at DCA.
With the announcement of the Jacksonville flights, JetBlue has now announced plans for all of those slots.
Jacksonville will be JetBlue's sixth new DCA destination this year. In addition to the Fort Myers and West Palm Beach routes, JetBlue also has added service to Charleston, S.C.; Hartford, Conn.; and Nassau in the Bahamas.
"Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is a vital part of the JetBlue network and we are pleased to continue to grow our presence here," Rob Land, JetBlue's SVP of Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel, says in a statement. "With a sixth new service within just six months, we will offer up to 30 daily nonstop flights out of DCA by the end of the year."