jetbluefan1 wrote:I still fail to see exactly why B6 needs a focus city in the Midwest or West Coast. It's just not a natural fit when one considers B6's core strengths (LatAm, NYC, Boston, FLL). And that's ok.
I think it is less finding a natural fit and more finding a place for B6 to grow. When you stop growing, your labor force starts aging up, which increases average labor costs per ASM as the same number of people are making more with little fresh blood to lower the average down.
AUS seems like it could work as a central focus city - no major hubs in the city, relatively small ULCC presence, large and growing business segment plus relatively strong leisure travel to the city, nice gateway to Latin America from Mountain/West, and the city seems to match JetBlue's target demographic fairly well. Add in the 9 new gates coming online in 18-24 months, and it seems like there is space to grow.
I definitely see B6 and AS eventually growing closer, acknowledging that they need each other in many ways. Code share on non-overlapping routes and eventual merger (think 6- years, maybe more) is not far-fetched.