For the first time in years Vancouver has daily non-stop flights to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
The first commercial JetBlue flight to ever land at a Canadian airport is set to arrive at 10:26 p.m. at Vancouver International Airport (YVR,) from JFK. The return flight is set to leave YVR for JFK at 11:30 p.m., so it can arrive at 7:48 a.m. Eastern Time.
While the flight times were partly determined by what slots airports had available, JetBlue's head of marketing and loyalty, Jayne O'Brien, told BIV this morning that she thinks the time slots are excellent.
Passengers are able to experience a full day in New York before flying to Vancouver in the evening. Vancouverites, meanwhile, are able to take a night flight and land early in the morning in the Big Apple.
It has been a while since Vancouver had non-stop flights to JFK.
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific operated 17 flights per week between YVR and JFK, before it axed that route in early 2020. Those flights were part of Cathay Pacific's one-stop route between Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and JFK. When it axed YVR as a stop-over airport in those flights, it increased non-stop flights between HKG and JFK.
Air Canada flies daily non-stop flights between YVR and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey, which has a connecting train to Manhattan. The airline also flies daily between YVR and La Guardia, but those flights have stop-overs at various Canadian airports.
Air Canada originally flew between YVR and JFK, but in 2009 it redirected flights to the New York City catchment area to EWR because EWR is a Star Alliance partner airline hub, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah told BIV this morning.
WestJet has stop-overs on its flights between YVR and JFK.
The YVR-JFK JetBlue flights use Airbus A-320 planes that have 162 seats, of which 120 would be considered economy class. JetBlue calls those seats "core seats," with the other 42 seats being "even more space" seats, or what most airlines call premium economy.
Prices for one-way YVR-JFK flights start at $234, O'Brien said. BIV checked online booking systems to discover that there is a fluctuation in pricing, depending on the day. Round-trips in the next month can be priced as high as $1,098, and as low as $525.
JFK is JetBlue's hub airport, so the airline has a wide variety of potential connecting flights, O'Brien said.
Vancouver is the airline's 26th destination outside the U.S.
Overall, JetBlue flies to more than 110 cities. O'Brien said the airline has a strong contingent of flights to the Caribbean out of JFK, as well as flights to Europe and South America.
"What we're all seeing in the airline business and hospitality business at the moment is this pent up demand coming back," O'Brien said.
"Customers are saying 'I want to go to see my relatives again. I want to go and see the world. I want to have experiences again.' So we're seeing demand levels, overall, almost what they were in 2019, pre pandemic."
JetBlue had originally planned this summer to launch non-stop flights between YVR and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). It then cancelled that route last month because, O'Brien said, the airline wanted to make sure that it had sufficient staff for all routes in order to prevent flight delays.
"We're making improvements in facilities and infrastructure, and we're getting more and more training done," she added.