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JetBlue leaves Kansas City, trims service from Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale amid financial trouble

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JetBlue is ending service to and from Kansas City, Missouri, as part of a broader route reorganization in the wake of a federal judge’s decision to reject its merger with Spirit Airlines.

The New York-based carrier also said it would trim routes out of Los Angeles International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. And it will not be returning to Newburgh, New York, after it suspended service to the town amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes were made in an internal memo seen by NBC News. It’s the second round of route cuts the carrier has announced this year.

In a statement, JetBlue said the routes and markets had fallen short of expectations.

“JetBlue is constantly evaluating our routes to best serve our customers, return our airline to profitability, and find ways to improve our reliability,” it said.

JetBlue has struggled to regain a stable financial footing in the post-pandemic period. In its most recent quarter, it posted a decline in revenues and a net loss. It also said it expected to have 15 Airbus planes out of service because of maintenance issues.

JetBlue had been banking on a merger with Spirit, as well as ongoing service as an American Airlines partner through its Northeast Alliance program, which the Justice Department also rejected recently.

In addition to Kansas City, the carrier said it was ending service for three South American cities.

In the memo, JetBlue said it was doubling down on what it called “bread and butter” routes serving customers on the East Coast and traveling to the Caribbean for vacation and on long-haul cross-country flights.

It also plans to add capacity in places where it was seeing success, including Puerto Rico and Orlando and Tampa, Florida.

“Network changes are a fact of life at every airline, but that doesn’t make it easy to see a favorite route or BlueCity go away,” the company said in the memo.

“However, it’s more important than ever that we are surgical about every route in our network, especially as court decisions around the Northeast Alliance and Spirit have impacted our ability to grow.”

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