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JetBlue to end Pittsburgh to New York flights in late February

| Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 2:22 p.m.

Discounter JetBlue Airways will end Pittsburgh service to New York in February because the route is unprofitable, the carrier said on Friday.

The airline will cease operating twice-daily flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport after Feb. 27, said a spokeswoman.

JetBlue began service with four daily flights for as low as $69 one-way in July 2006. It trimmed that to two daily flights in late 2007.

“The route has been unprofitable despite a lot of efforts over the years” to promote it, said April Dinwoodie, a JetBlue spokeswoman in Forest Hills, N.Y.

“Because every route must earn its keep in our network, we made the difficult decision to end PIT-JFK twice-daily flights ... so the aircraft and crews can be redeployed elsewhere,” she said.

Pittsburgh has plenty of options for flying to New York, said JoAnn Jenny, spokeswoman for Pittsburgh International Airport. Delta Air Lines, for example, operates six daily flights to LaGuardia Airport, near JFK. US Airways, American and United airlines fly to New York-area airports.

Given those alternatives, Jenny did not think Pittsburgh-New York air fares would escalate much when JetBlue discontinues service. Fares to fly from here to Philadelphia on US Airways increased in January when Southwest Airlines dropped the route.

“We advocated the value of JetBlue on the New York route for quite a while,” said Jenny. She noted JetBlue's late-morning departures did not accommodate many business travelers, who prefer earlier flights.

Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached a 412-320-7854 or at tolson@tribweb.com.

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