JetBlue Operates Its First Flight To London Gatwick Airport

JetBlue has arrived at London Gatwick Airport. Today, the hybrid US carrier launched its newest flight connecting New York City with London’s second busiest airport. Using its Airbus A321LR fleet, the airline is bringing new connectivity to the transatlantic market. Let’s investigate further.

JetBlue Airbus A321LR
JetBlue has landed in London Gatwick. This is the second airport it serves in the UK, following the launch of its JFK-Heathrow flights. In the photo, we see JetBlue’s A321LR parked at Heathrow. Photo: Sumit Singh | Simple Flying

The new flight

Seven weeks after commercially landing in the UK, for the first time, JetBlue is back with a new direct flight. The airline is now flying between New York’s JFK and London Gatwick.

JetBlue will have four flights per week to each of the London airports it currently serves. The carrier will offer 1,104 weekly seats using its A321LR with a capacity for 138 passengers.

JetBlue’s A321LR has 114 seats and 24 Mint Suites.

Additionally, JetBlue customers will experience a build-your-own dining concept, thanks to the airline’s partnership with New York-based restaurant group Dig.

WiFi is also a given deal on these new flights. All customers have unlimited, free high-speed WiFi on JetBlue’s transatlantic flights, according to a statement published by the airline in August.

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Why serve two London airports?

Six airports serve London: London City, Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, and Southend. Heathrow is the most classic hub in the region, and it is more full-service carrier-oriented. Meanwhile, Gatwick has full-service airlines with some long-haul routes, but it is also a low-cost short-haul airport.

Despite that, London Gatwick only has a few transatlantic routes, according to Cirium’s database. In October, this airport will have 46 weekly flights across the ocean. For instance, British Airways flies to Antigua, Cancun, Kingston, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, and Saint Lucia. Meanwhile, TUI flies to Cancun, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, and Saint Lucia, while Air Transat flies from Toronto and WestJet from Calgary and Toronto.

So, it was pretty interesting to see JetBlue announcing it would land in Gatwick and Heathrow.

When launching its route to London Heathrow, the airline said in a statement,

“JetBlue remains on track to add additional service between the U.S. and the U.K. with flights between New York-JFK and London Gatwick Airport (LGW) starting September 29, 2021. The airline will deliver on its commitment to serve multiple London airports and give customers convenient options – with attractive premium and leisure fares – across the greater London metropolitan area, no matter which airport they prefer. JetBlue will be the only carrier to offer service to the U.S. at Gatwick – the U.K.’s second busiest airport – creating another important presence in London where it can grow an even larger base of travelers.

Moreover, JetBlue is planning a London service from Boston. It will start in the summer of 2022.

JetBlue Mint
There are 24 Mint Suites onboard JetBlue’s A321LR fleet. Photo: JetBlue

The A321LR is the perfect aircraft for long-haul flight

JetBlue was able to launch transatlantic flights between the US and the UK thanks to its Airbus A321LR fleet. Currently, it has four A321LR and expects to receive 13 more, according to ch-aviation. JetBlue will also receive 11 A321XLR.

Back in August, Jeffrey Knittel, chairman, and CEO of Airbus Americas, said,

“As we come out of the pandemic and the international market recovers, the A321LR will position JetBlue to offer long-haul international travel at the highest level of customer service and at the lowest cost and risk.”

The A321LR has a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles; therefore it allows the airlines to tap into new long-haul markets. Meanwhile, the XLR will have a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles, meaning even more reach. For example, the Chilean low-cost carrier Sky Airline plans to fly directly between Santiago and Miami using its A321XLR fleet once it gets to them. It currently flies that route with a layover.

Are you excited about JetBlue’s new route to London Gatwick? Let us know in the comments.

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