JetBlue is planning to sell seats on short, semi-private flights along the West Coast, another move focused on well-heeled travelers.
The New York-based airline announced a code-sharing agreement on Monday with JetSuiteX, a sister company of JetSuite, a California-based private jet company in which JetBlue has invested. CNBC had reported the news earlier Monday.
Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM, or British Airways and American Airlines. JetSuiteX offers what is known as public charters.
JetBlue, which started out as a low-cost airline, has steadily gone after higher-paying customers. The airline has expanded its Mint premium cabin, which offers lie-flat beds, to new transcontinental routes. The new agreement will allow JetSuiteX to distribute seats more broadly, through JetBlue’s website.
JetBlue’s flights to the West Coast will not immediately connect to JetSuiteX’s, whose 30-seat jets depart from private terminals. JetSuiteX offers daily service from several California cities, including Burbank, Oakland and San Jose, as well as Las Vegas.
Connecting to larger western U.S. airports that JetBlue serves would come with challenges, such as higher costs and more crowded facilities, which may defeat the allure of flying from a private terminal, said Henry Harteveldt, a former airline executive and founder of research firm Atmosphere Research Group. He added that a limited number of frequencies may encourage some business travelers, whose plans often change, to opt to fly larger airlines.
JetSuiteX also offers pop-up service to events like the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Delta offers private jet service through its Delta Private Jets arm.