Atlanta: A key market
Atlanta is one of the busiest airports in the world and a major business center for the United States. It handled 104.0 million passengers in 2016. JetBlue Airways (JBLU) started its service from Atlanta at the end of March 2017, operating five daily round trips from Atlanta to Boston. Now it has decided to increase its service and will operate flights from Atlanta to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and New York.
Taking on Delta Air Lines
Atlanta is Delta Air Lines’ (DAL) biggest hub. DAL has earned the loyalty of many business travelers there. Although it could be a while before JetBlue gets a sizable share of the Atlanta market, service to Atlanta could help it improve its business in other areas.
Delta Air Lines has been aggressively expanding in Boston, JBLU’s major hub. Delta plans to operate more than 100 flights on a peak day from Boston to 32 other destinations.
Limited gate space
JetBlue hasn’t been able to get the required gate space at Atlanta since most of them are operated by Delta Air Lines. This has delayed some of JetBlue’s new launch plans from 2017 to March 2018.
Investors can gain exposure to JetBlue stock by investing in the First Trust Nasdaq Transportation ETF (FTXR), which invests 1.2% of its portfolio in JetBlue (JBLU). It also invests 4.3% in American Airlines (AAL), 4.2% in Delta Air Lines (DAL), 4.0% in United Continental Holdings (UAL), 1.4% in Southwest Airlines (LUV), and 1.3% in Alaska Air (ALK).