JetBlue has revealed that it intends to launch multiple daily flights from New York and Boston to London in 2021, marking the airline’s first European destination.
The new routes would be the first transatlantic service offered by JetBlue and will be served by Airbus A321LR single-aisle aircraft with a “reimagined” version of its Mint premium offering.
After an “extensive” internal review, the announcement was made in New York at a crewmember event at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
JetBlue will initially convert 13 aircraft in its existing A321 order book to the longer range version with the ability to convert more. The A321LR will allow the airline to tap into new long-haul markets with a single-aisle aircraft.
The airline added that the conversion does not impact its external financial commitments or represent incremental capital expenditures as the current orderbook remains the same.
“London is the largest metro area JetBlue doesn’t yet serve from both Boston and New York, and we could not be more thrilled to be changing that in the years ahead,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “The fares being charged today by airlines on these routes, specifically on the premium end, are enough to make you blush.”
The airline suggests its entrance into the transatlantic market will introduce new options for low-fare travel for leisure and business travellers and that its growth into Europe is “the next natural step in JetBlue’s focus city expansion strategy”, adding: “The new service will strengthen JetBlue’s relevance in its two largest focus cities.”
JetBlue is developing a “reimagined” transatlantic version of its premium Mint product, featuring more lie-flat seats than currently offered on the airline’s existing A321 aircraft. JetBlue will also be creating a new long-haul version of its core experience.
“The big airlines will tell you that competition has never been more robust, but the smaller airlines have never found it harder to get access,” said Geraghty. “It’s time for regulators here in the U.S.and across Europe to create conditions where smaller carriers and new entrants can thrive, instead of letting the giant airlines get even bigger through joint ventures. Given a chance to compete, JetBlue can have a tremendous effect on lowering fares and stimulating traffic.”
Laura Citron, CEO, London & Partners commented: “North America is already London’s largest overseas market but is growing significantly year on year, so extra connectivity and capacity to allow even more people to discover our city is very exciting news.”
For more on what steps JetBlue has been taking in passenger experience and operations, check out our Airline Profile on JetBlue in the April/May issue of LARA!