I would think not. I don't think jetBlue has the luxury of being able to put expansion plans on the back burner at JFK.
When they were awarded the 75 slot exemptions at JFK, the deal was they would phase them in up to 25 slots per year for the next three years up to a total of 75.
The way I read the agreement, they could of used up to 25 slots by February, 2001, up to 50 slots by February, 2002 and up to the total allowed of 75 slots by February, 2003. So far, as of mid June, 2002, they will have used up 33. That still leaaves 42 more slot at JFK.
I think AA is using the situation at LGB to distract jetBlue away from JFK. AA doesn't care about LGB, but they DO care about JFK - they're building that big brand new terminal and all. I think by forcing jetBlue to use new aircraft to beef up service at LGB, the deadline for using up the JFK slots is going to sneak up on jetBlue, and once the deadline has passed, you KNOW AA will file a protest if jetBlue seeks to get an extension of absorbing the rest of their JFK slots.
It seems as though LGB can only grow at the expense of JFK and JFK can only grow at the expense of LGB.
Well, I guess I'll have to take your word for it, although it certainly doesn't make it sound that way in jetBlue's prospectus when it says:
The Department of Transportation, or DOT, granted us 75 daily takeoff and landing slot exemptions at JFK in 1999. A slot is an authorization to take off or land at a designated airport within a specified time period. Unlike a slot, our exemption from slot authorization requirements may not be sold, leased, rented or pledged.
These slot exemptions phase in at the rate of up to 25 daily slots per year over three years ending in February 2003. If we fail to use a slot exemption, such slot exemption could be subject to forfeiture. Since JFK is our principal base of operations, our failure to maintain our slot exemptions at JFK could harm our business.
I guess I'll quit harping on this issue for now, and we'll see what happens in February.