JetBlue Airways is introducing a new shuttle service between Washington and New York with introductory fares as low as $39 each way.
The low-cost carrier will operate six daily nonstop flights from Dulles International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport starting Aug. 17.
The introductory fares require a 14-day advance purchase and must be bought by June 30. The tickets must be used between Aug. 17 and Sept. 30. Regular fares will be $50 to $145 each way, with one-way walk-up tickets starting at $90.
The airline will use its Embraer 190, 100-passenger aircraft, which offer satellite television and satellite radio at each seat.
Passengers might have a hard time getting the cheapest seats on the most popular flights, such as those on Sundays and weekends, because JetBlue is offering fewer of them.
JetBlue is sharply undercutting competing carriers with service to New York. The dominant shuttle carriers, Delta Air Lines and U.S. Airways, charge one-way fares ranging from $300 for advance tickets to $500 for walk-up seats.
But both Delta and U.S. Airways offer service from Reagan National Airport to New York's LaGuardia Airport, which is about a half-hour closer to Manhattan than Kennedy International.
JetBlue executives said the airline decided to offer the flights to New York in part to capitalize on the growing Northern Virginia corridor. The airline also wanted to give customers in the Washington area more connecting flights to its 30 destinations from its New York hub airport.
"Every day, 1,000 fewer people fly each way between New York and Washington, D.C., today compared to summer, 2001," David Neeleman, JetBlue's founder and chief executive, said in a statement. "We think there's a good reason why: Fares are too high, which makes taking the train or driving a viable alternative."
Delta also will begin operating three flights a day between Dulles and JFK on July 5 to feed its international departures from New York.
Gina Laughlin, a Delta spokeswoman, said the airline planned to be "competitive" with JetBlue on the Dulles-JFK route but doesn't believe the budget carrier will be much of a threat to the shuttle services.
On the Net:
JetBlue Airways Corp. http://www.jetblue.com