For the first time since 2018, a new airline will begin service from Kansas City International Airport with flights to Boston and New York.
JetBlue Airways will begin service from KCI about a year from now with nonstop flights to and from Boston Logan International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Flight schedules have not yet been published by JetBlue, and the frequency of flights to and from KCI is not currently known. JetBlue’s service to Kansas City will begin about a year before a new terminal under construction is expected to open.
“We can’t wait to introduce the JetBlue brand to new customers in Kansas City who will soon benefit from better service and more competition,” said Andrea Lusso, vice president of network planning for JetBlue, in a statement. “We look forward to seeing them onboard soon.”
JetBlue is the first new carrier to announce service to KCI since IcelandAir in 2018 launched a nonstop flight from Kansas City to Iceland, which lasted until 2019.
Currently no airline connects Kansas City to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Delta used to offer flights from KCI to JFK, but that service ended in 2013.
Delta has also typically connected KCI to Boston-Logan, but that service was suspended at the beginning of the pandemic and has not yet resumed.
Wednesday’s announcement was part of a larger commitment by JetBlue to expand service to and from New York and Boston to other cities and countries, including Honduras and Canada.
“They (JetBlue) are kind of the middle between the big three network carriers like Delta, United and American, which offer multiple classes of experience, and the ultra-low cost carriers that will be charging you for anything ancillary to your plane ticket,” said Justin Meyer, director of marketing for KCI.
While the COVID-19 pandemic gutted business and leisure travel, signs point toward travelers growing more comfortable with taking flights as vaccine availability expands across the United States.
Meyer said KCI has seen consistent growth in travel since mid-January and current activity is about 65% of 2019 levels, which preceded the pandemic.
“It’s coming back and we are encouraged to see the demand for travel right now,” Meyer said.