Piggybacking on their North American expansion over the past decade, JetBlue has now set the inception date for their new South American destination in Quito, Ecuador (UIO). While the new route was announced in May, Market Wired noted this morning that their daily nonstop flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL) to Quito will begin on February 25, 2016, with tickets going on sale starting today.
Not only does this have the potential to be a boon for JetBlue, but also for American travelers. Ecuador is a mystical place, with amazing culture and architecture, a gateway to the Amazon rain forest, and the Galapagos Islands. Given how much Ecuador has to offer, there are surprisingly few non-stop flights from the U.S. to Quito, and even fewer which are even remotely affordable. Although it probably will not last, introductory fares for this FLL to UIO route will start at $139 each way – less than half of the price of most non-stop flights to Quito from North America!
I’ve been a fan of JetBlue’s seat-back entertainment system since I first flew them in 2000, and look forward to trying this route in a future trip to Ecuador. They sure have come quite a long way since their 1998 inception as a “JFK to FLL air taxi”.
As I have said many times before, competition and innovation are great things, and hopefully this extra competitor will help reduce prices on the non-stop flights to Ecuador, and other parts of South America.
Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel.