People, Travel

Another US Airline Cuts Capacity to Cuba

JetBlue will cut its capacity by 300 seats a day.
JetBlue will cut its capacity by 300 seats a day.

JetBlue is trimming capacity to Cuba, becoming the third US airline to do so since regular commercial passenger service to the island nation resumed in August.

The airline will not eliminate any of its Cuban destinations nor will it reduce flight schedules. Instead, the carrier will downsize to smaller aircraft on several of its existing routes, a move that will pare 300 seats a day from JetBlue’s current Cuba schedules, USA Today reported.

“We are continuing to operate our schedule of nearly 50 weekly round trip Cuban flights but have made adjustments to our fleet utilization,” JetBlue Spokesman Philip Stewart says in a statement to the Miami Herald. 

“It’s common practice to adjust schedules and fleet type based on customer preferences, especially on routes that are new to the network.”

JetBlue did not cite demand in tightening its Cuba capacity, but it follows similar moves made by American Airlines and smaller Silver Airways. In December, American announced it would drop one of the two daily flights from its schedules between Miami and each of the Cuban cities of Holguin, Santa Clara and Varadero. Those changes went into effect last week.

American Airlines suggested as early as October that the Cuba flights were underperforming when officials were queried during a call to discuss the company's third-quarter earnings.

Similarly, Silver Airways also announced a Cuba service reduction in December. It also did not drop any destinations, but the regional carrier did pare back the number of flights on schedules to six of the cities it serves in Cuba, according to the Herald.

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