US DOT Considers Countermeasures After Dutch Government Drops JetBlue

by Anthony Losanno
JetBlue A321

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A few days ago, I wrote about the Dutch government’s plan to reduce its annual flight cap at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) in 2024. It will take effect the summer of 2024 and reduce its current 500,000 annual cap to 452,500 annual flights. As part of this reduction, the airport is forced to cut flights and an airline entirely in the case of JetBlue.

JetBlue launched flights between two routes this past summer: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and New York John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to/from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). Unfortunately, they will have to cancel these routes in 2024 according to a Bloomberg article published recently. The carrier was upset and filed a complaint with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) asking it to ban KLM, the Dutch flag carrier, from New York John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK). While the DOT is considering this action or something similar, it hasn’t done so yet.

Amsterdam Canals

The DOT did ask KLM, Martinair, and TUI Airlines Nederland to file their flight plans with the department within the next seven days. It says that it will continue working with both the Dutch government and European Commission on November 13th to find a resolution.

The DOT warned:

Should consultations fail to produce a meaningful path toward resolving this matter in a timely and satisfactory fashion, the Department stands ready to consider any further action that may be appropriate.”

While I understand how JetBlue is understandably dismayed at having one of its newest transatlantic routes hacked for next summer, it’s hard to say how the Dutch government could have handled this better. JetBlue is one of the last airlines serving the main airport in Amsterdam and cutting legacy carriers wouldn’t make much sense.

Anthony’s Take: It will be interesting to see if this decision is reversed, if additional retaliatory measures are taken, and where JetBlue ends up once these discussions occur.

(Featured Image Credit: JetBlue Airways.)

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