It has been over a year since JetBlue was reported to be planning its expansion into Europe. Despite being the sixth-largest United States-based carrier by passengers served, it is yet to cross the Atlantic.
Time to take the leap
Next month, it will be 20 years since the New York-based airline commenced operations. During this time, it has expanded rapidly across the Americas. However, it has not made its way across the Atlantic, yet.
Nonetheless, what is clear is that the firm is choosing London as one of its its entry points into Europe. In April, the airline announced that it will offer a daily service from New York (JFK) and Boston (BOS) to London. These operations are expected to commence in 2021.
To back the announcement, JetBlue announced that it replaced 13 of its A321neo aircraft orders for orders of the A321LR. This move was intended to allow for long haul flights.
These planes will feature an improved and expanded JetBlue Mint. This premium offering was awarded the Best Regional Business Class in North America award by Trip Advisor last year.
Since the initial London announcement, the company has shared that it is considering to serve multiple airports in the capital of the United Kingdom.
In September, Business Travel News reported that JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes identifies an incredible opportunity for his airline in Europe.
He stated that since most US and European carriers are involved in joint ventures, the prices of premium offerings are too high. Altogether, the company is looking to deliver its premium offering at a more attractive cost than its competition.
“[The fares] are really obscene compared with the true cost of providing the offering. Premium transcontinental fares are now about half of what they were before we came along, so we know we can win,” he said.
Nonetheless, JetBlue won’t be able to commence London operations until after it takes delivery of its new A321LRs in 2021. However, it wants to start flights in the same year that it receives the aircraft. Therefore it will be working hard to get preparations in place.
It will be working on the design of the interior of the aircraft that will serve these operations. It will currently be deciding which of the London airports it wants to serve.
With demand high for London airport slots, it will be also ensuring that it gains slots that fit well. It is also reported to be vying for slots in Amsterdam, which are also highly sought after.
Moreover, delays in the A321neo production line have meant that the airline has had to lease additional, older aircraft to manage its capacity. This could have an impact on its European start date.
Regardless, JetBlue remains positive about its growth and is putting measures in place to not hinder its company-wide plans.
Simple Flying reached out to JetBlue for comment on the current stage in its preparations for Europe but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
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