Jet Blue Thinks It Can ‘Disrupt’ Business Class Flights To Europe

JetBlue have set tongues wagging with rumours that it will soon start offering a business class service across the Atlantic. Previously, the New York-based airline has stayed firmly on its own side of the map. But clearly the prospect of undercutting the likes of United was too much. And in typical JetBlue style, the news didn’t just suggest flights would be coming soon. No, they intend to completely “disrupt” air travel between the U.S. and Europe. An interesting claim. So how are they going to do it?

JetBlue interior aircraft

To really understand this story, we need to consider first what JetBlue is. It’s not a traditional flyer, nor is it an LLC. However, it tastes like a little of both. Eighty five percent of JetBlue’s passengers fly directly to their destination making it a point-to-point carrier. This is usually an LLC trait. But JetBlue also offers Jet Blue Mint. This includes onboard entertainment, more legroom and a frequent flyer program. This is an important feature to bear in mind. If the airline launches a Jet Blue Mint Europe, the traditional airlines could be in trouble.

Jet Blue Thinks It Can ‘Disrupt’ Business Class Flights To Europe
JetBlue’s existing route map

How will JetBlue Mint disrupt business flights to Europe?

JetBlue’s Mint business class is a real business product, not a dressed up premium economy. It offers lie-flat seats, suites and higher-end food. You also get expedited check-in, security and early boarding, and faster access to your bag at your destination. Basically, Mint passengers’ bags come off first and all this for about half (to 2/3) the price of a traditional business class seat.

What will JetBlue use to fly to Europe?

President Joanna Geraghty, told reporters that a long-range variant of the Airbus A321 plane would probably be used to reach Europe. However, the analysts are still weighing their options.

Jet Blue already has flights to Alaska, Latin America and the Caribbean, but hasn’t reached Europe yet. If it did, London to New York would be the most likely destination. This route via JFK and LHR is the highest revenue producing flight in the world. If Jet Blue London became a thing, and you could fly business class for a fraction of the price of BA Business, things would change.

Jet Blue Thinks It Can ‘Disrupt’ Business Class Flights To Europe
JFK to LHR – the price to beat

But as I just mentioned, JetBlue is predominantly point-to-point. This means, passengers would have to join JetBlue in New York or claim their bag from a previous flight and re-check-in. Alternatively, JetBlue would have to deliver a connecting flights program.

But I can already fly budget across the Atlantic

While you can already fly cheaply across the Atlantic, thanks to the likes of WOW and Norwegian, the difference here is, JetBlue Mint. The London to New York leg can be a 7+ hour flight and that’s a long time on a budget carrier. In this sense, no employee travels with Norwegian for business. But if JetBlue had a business product, they would be able to fly with Jet Blue Europe.The market is essentially there just waiting for a cheaper offer.

However, before we get too excited, it’s worth remembering JetBlue is playing catch up right now. The airline has been lagging behind the airline industry’s share returns for a third year running. Although it’s talking about offering a business class product to Europe, it was also first out the gate with luggage fare increases. This led to all three of the American giants following suit. So while we expect super low prices, we won’t really know what this means until the first seats go on sale.