JetBlue Strafes the Big Boys -- Again

A new fleet of smaller planes will allow the upstart to expand point-to-point routes -- and up the pressure on larger, hub-bound rivals

The history of startup airlines is littered with those that grew too fast or strayed too far from a successful business model. Look no further than '80s phenomenon People Express, which stumbled after it bought another airline and started flying jumbo 747s. So when rising star JetBlue Airways (JBLU ) stunned the industry with a $3 billion aircraft order that will allow it to enter smaller markets, nervous investors were quick to react. The stock fell nearly 5% on June 10, the day JetBlue announced its expansion plans.

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