JetBlue adds Amsterdam in effort to compete with big rivals

NEW YORK (AP) – JetBlue said Tuesday it will begin flying between New York and Amsterdam this summer after a Dutch court blocked a government effort to limit flights at Schiphol Airport.

JetBlue currently flies to London and will start service to Paris in June. The Amsterdam flights will put the New York-based airline in head-to-head competition against the alliance of bigger rivals Delta Air Lines and KLM.

“This route is long overdue for some competition,” said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes.

JetBlue said it eventually plans to add flights between Boston and Amsterdam, but it did not give a timetable.

JetBlue has seeking approval to fly to Amsterdam for some time but was unable to get anything more than temporary takeoff and landing slots this summer, which it said wasn’t good enough. The airline reversed course on Tuesday, however, saying that a court ruling against the Dutch government’s plan to reduce flights at Schiphol gives it confidence to enter the market.

Most airlines use big, two-aisle planes for transatlantic flights, but JetBlue will use a long-range version of the smaller, single-aisle Airbus A321 to reduce costs.

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