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Sunport: JetBlue isn’t done in ABQ yet after all

A lone passenger walks through a deserted Sunport while making his way to his flight gate. Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

JetBlue is apparently not done with Albuquerque yet.

An Albuquerque International Sunport spokesperson said Tuesday the airline is still flying to and from the airport, contradicting earlier statements about the airline having halted its Albuquerque service last week.

Spokesperson Stephanie Kitts said the airline is still planning to suspend all Albuquerque service, but is awaiting some direction from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“We don’t know when it’s going to be exactly, but we’re staying in close contact with them,” Kitts told the Journal Tuesday. “We’ll see what happens in the next week or so.”

JetBlue in 2013 began direct daily service between Albuquerque and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. With demand waning, it had reduced service to three days a week earlier this spring and then stopped after May 5, Kitts said. But May 12 she said JetBlue began a three-times-a-week flight from Albuquerque to Denver and then to Boston.

Airlines benefitting from federal coronavirus relief funds are required to maintain a minimal level of service around the country.

JetBlue, however, has asked the DOT for an exemption allowing it to suspend its Albuquerque service.

Kitts said JetBlue had been granted approval last week, which was why the Sunport said Monday the airline had halted its Albuquerque operations.

But airport officials called JetBlue Tuesday after seeing the airline employees at the ticket counter and learned that JetBlue was awaiting some clarification from the DOT before stopping service, Kitts said.

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