JetBlue Airways is expected to announce today that because of high fuel costs it is suspending indefinitely its first transcontinental flights from Los Angeles International Airport.
The low-fare carrier had planned to start on May 21 operating four daily flights from LAX -- one to Boston and three to New York's John F. Kennedy airport. But the cost of fuel got too high to support the flights without incurring losses, an airline official said.
The Forest Hills, N.Y.-based airline said it cost about $9,600 to fill up its Airbus A320 aircraft fuel tanks for a transcontinental flight last year. That cost has now climbed to more than $15,000, according to the official.
The start of additional service at Burbank and Long Beach on May 21 is on track because JetBlue will be using smaller Embraer 190 jets that consume less fuel, an airline spokeswoman said.
As part of its West Coast expansion, JetBlue recently added a flight from Long Beach to Austin, Texas, and on May 21 will begin service between Burbank and Las Vegas, Long Beach and San Jose, and San Diego and Seattle, among others.
The airline suspended selling tickets for the LAX flights to the East Coast late Monday and has told airport officials that it will contact travelers to re-book them on its flights from the Burbank, Long Beach and Ontario airports.