Tourism May 3, 2021 | 3:32 pm

JetBlue: leisure travel drives reactivation of flights in the Caribbean



 Estimated capacity may exceed 2019 levels in July and August

 The airline projects business travel to start picking up in the fall


Leisure travel is for the American airline JetBlue the engine that guides the reactivation of flights in the Caribbean region.

“We are in the midst of a recovery that prioritizes leisure,” said Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s head of revenue and planning. “We are made for leisure,” the executive emphasized.

Laurence said that the Caribbean and Latin America are the pillars of the airlines for leisure travel. Although he recognized some obstacles with the test rules implemented by the United States earlier this year, he indicated that demand in the region has recovered. He estimated that except for a change in the trajectory of the pandemic, capacity might exceed 2019 levels in July and August.

According to company projections, as recently reported by the airline based in New York, for the Caribbean and Latin America, capacity is scheduled to increase by up to 1.7 percent compared to two years ago, from April to June.

When it comes to business travel, JetBlue expects workers to start returning to their offices and, more importantly, flying on business trips again this fall. This would follow what is expected to be a relatively hectic period for leisure travel this summer when some analysts warn that rates may reach, or even exceed, 2019 levels during peak periods.

An increase in the number of corporate travelers in September could shift from the recovery of leisure this summer to that of business this fall, with suits possibly replacing sandals on airplanes after Labor Day (September 6).

“We are cautiously optimistic that, assuming travel restrictions are not increased, the vaccine will remain in effect, in which case the count will stabilize or decrease; the drop has the potential to be good for JetBlue,” said JetBlue President Joanna Geraghty during the airline’s first-quarter earnings announcement.

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