Jet America, the low-cost, scheduled public-charter carrier based in Florida, the United States, has delayed its first flights by another 30 days, from July 3, 2009, to August 14, 2009. The latest budget airline in the United States has offered non-stop seats starting at $9 one-way to the US cities of Newark, New Jersey and Melbourne (Florida.)
JetAmerica offers fares that are 50% to 70% less than those offered by other carriers operating on similar, but indirect routes.
JetAmerica, a Part-380 indirect carrier, subcontracts aircraft from Miami Air International.
In a statement, JetAmerica said that all customers who had bought tickets for the cancelled flights would get their money back.
The airline said it had sent e-mail advising 6,486 passengers who booked flights from July 13, 2009, through August 13, 2009, that their credit-card accounts would be completely refunded for all charges. The credits have to appear on e-statements within 7 to 14 days.
In addition, JetAmerica said it would offer these customers “special incentives” to rebook on future flights when they call the carrier’s reservations centre.
The incentives include waiving the standard reservations convenience fee of $10, waiving the $20-fee for the first checked baggage, and also not charging the seat assignment fee of $10.
Brian Burling, JetAmerica’s vice-President of operations, said in the statement that the primary reason for the delay in launching the flights was “unforeseen complications” with time slots for landing and takeoff at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
Burling explained that, in February 2009, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had advised JetAmerica that the airline’s operations at Newark Liberty International Airport could be accommodated.
However, after JetAmerica had announced its $9 non-stop fares and also its 60,000 website visitors, the Federal Aviation Administration told the airline that it would need to obtain slots, Burling added.
He said the FAA’s change in the policy on slots for indirect carriers was beyond JetAmerica’s control ands that the airline was doing its best to get all the slots that it needed at the earliest.
Brian Burling complained that the FAA brought its policy change to JetAmerica’s notice only after the airline had already made sales amounting to millions of dollars.
Notwithstanding the delay, JetAmerica said it still intended to provide – using Boeing 737-800 aircraft – non-stop flights beginning August 14, 2009, from Newark Liberty International Airport (New Jersey) to Lansing, Michigan; South Bend, Indiana; Melbourne-Vero Beach, Florida; and Toledo, Ohio.
The airline said it also would operate roundtrip services between Toledo and Melbourne-Vero Beach and Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport; and between Lansing and Melbourne-Vero Beach.
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