JetBlue CEO Dave Barger told reporters at yesterday’s Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit that while his airline is invested in the results of other carriers’ mergers, the idea of getting hitched is “just not of interest to JetBlue. Independence into the future is our plan.”
For now, Barger says JetBlue’s focus is on bringing on more business travelers, which was pretty obvious when it recently announced it would be adding lie-flat seating and one-seat “suites” to certain cross-country flights.
One of JetBlue’s biggest stakes in the US Airways/American merger is takeoff and landing slots at airports where the combined airline would have a large majority. For example, at Reagan National Airport, US Airways already has 55% of these slots. A merger with American would give it 69%. JetBlue opposes that level of dominance at such an important airport. If the merger proceeds, it would not be surprising if the merged airline had to divest itself of some of these slots, which could mean more flights at Reagan National for carriers like JetBlue.
“We’ve worked for over 10 years to gain access into Reagan National Airport,” says Barger.