The countdown is on to the arrival of JetBlue in Europe. The airline’s A321LRs are ready to go, the new cabin and soft product overhaul is revealed – all we need now is a launch date and, of course, the airport! Here’s why we’re excited to welcome JetBlue to Europe for the first time.
We need a disruptor
Getting JetBlue into the transatlantic market space couldn’t have come at a better time. Low-cost, long-haul has not worked out for many airlines, ultimately leading to the demise of carriers like WOW and Primera entirely. While Norwegian, the original disruptor, remains flying, it has abandoned its long-haul ambitions for the sake of survival.
Despite these airlines exiting the transatlantic space, their legacy lives on. In a world where crossing the pond, even in economy, historically meant parting with $500, $600 or more, these low-cost disruptors reimagined the cost of flying. Their arrival forced legacy competitors to introduce things like ‘basic economy’ fares to remain competitive.
With the exit of Norwegian from the long-haul market and other low-cost options incredibly limited, the door is wide open for legacy airlines to, slowly but surely, begin squeezing fliers for fares once more. Under the guise of recovering from the pandemic year, we could see transatlantic fares rise significantly. The arrival of JetBlue should go some way to stopping that.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Lie flat comfort will be within reach of all
Yesterday’s reveal of the stunning premium cabin for JetBlue’s transatlantic services was a teaser that left many of us feeling more than a little excited about the summer. Usually, when an airline unveils a new premium product, those of us without acres of points or an unlimited expenses account with our employer can only gaze on and sigh.
But JetBlue’s lie-flat Mint Suites and Studios are pegged to be within anyone’s grasp, even those of us spending real, actual money to fly. While the fare levels have not been officially revealed, you can be sure JetBlue is going to approach this new route with an aggressive, highly competitive pricing strategy. Rumors of sub-$600 one-way flights in lie-flat comfort have got even the most cash-strapped flier hot under the collar.
And this is a first. Despite the efforts of Norwegian and Co in disrupting economy and even premium economy, there has never been a business class disruption. Ever. Virgin’s recent megasale saw Upper Class prices to Orlando drop below £1000/$1,400 – but that’s a short term pricing, during a very uncertain time, and it’s not to New York. British Airways is still well over $4,000 for a return between LHR and JFK later in the year.
When JetBlue comes in and brings us its incredibly affordable business class fares, other carriers will be forced to review the value for money they are offering in order to remain competitive. As JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said last year,
“…we bring down fares in the entire market. Whether you fly us or not, you’re going to benefit from the lower fare.”
It’s called the JetBlue Effect and, even with perhaps a double daily departure in the network mix, it’s going to shake up the legacies like never before.
It’s going to be so good
Everything JetBlue has put in place for its transatlantic hops screams ‘going the extra mile’. From the soft product upgrades that were revealed last year to the stunning cabin unveiled yesterday, the airline will be giving the incumbents a run for their money when it comes to the passenger experience.
Starting with the seat, which has been designed with home comforts in mind, through to the ADA’s Place cocktails and Delicious Hospitality food, JetBlue wants to show the world that there’s a better way to fly. Wanderfuel’s wellness products further complement a sleep experience from leading comfort gurus Tuft & Needle to ensure a calm and comfortable crossing for all. Top it all off with JetBlue’s renowned customer service from its awesome cabin crew, and you’ve got something that’s guaranteed to knock it out of the park from day one.
JetBlue is well known for its exemplary service levels and attention to detail with regular fliers across the pond, but not so much here in Europe. Nevertheless, European-based passengers are in for a treat, and are guaranteed to become fast fans of this airline.