Following today’s earlier spot of JetBlue’s London tickets going on sale ahead of an official announcement, the airline has finally lifted the curtain on its firm London plans. JetBlue will fly to both London Heathrow and London Gatwick, starting August 11th, from New York. Boston service won’t start until next year.
JetBlue has officially made its announcement about its hotly anticipated London flights. The airline will fly to two leading London airports from its bases on the US East Coast, with inaugural service beginning on August 11th, 2021.
The first flights will be between New York’s John F Kennedy Airport and London Heathrow. The premium London hub service will launch on August 11th, 2021, with a daily return service. Flights are timed to depart JFK at 22:10, arriving at 10:10 the following day. The return will leave Heathrow at 18:10, arriving into JFK at 21:43 the same evening.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye spoke with excitement about JetBlue’s arrival at the airport, saying,
“JetBlue’s touchdown at Heathrow as its first U.K. base is a ringing endorsement of the value we deliver for our passengers and the country. JetBlue is a fantastic airline, renowned for delivering top-quality service at competitive prices.
“That value for money mantra is also at the heart of what we do at Heathrow, and we’re delighted that we’ll be seeing their characteristic blue tailfins at the airport later this year. In the meantime, Ministers should help more people travel safely and boost the economy by moving more low-risk destinations – including the U.S. – to the green list as vaccination rates increase and infections decrease.”
The Heathrow service is on sale now, and is bookable initially up to March 26, 2022. As a favorite with business travelers jetting between the UK and the US, the LHR-JFK route will give JetBlue some intense competition. Nevertheless, JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes believes its exemplary service and low fares will set it apart from its competitors. He said,
“Our low fares will disrupt the pricing of the major carriers and massive joint ventures; JetBlue’s presence in this market is going to be immediately noticeable to customers.”
Hayes further notes that the airline’s ability to fly to London Heathrow has been possible due to temporary slot availability during the downturn. He says that JetBlue is continuing the dialogue with slot coordinators to establish a pathway to long-term service at Heathrow continuing.
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Adding Gatwick, but not Boston this year
As well as the service to London’s iconic Heathrow Airport, JetBlue will also be arriving at the popular leisure hub of London Gatwick. From September 29th, 2021, the airline will fly from New York JFK to the South London hub, with one overnight and one daytime flight.
The service will leave JFK at 19:50 in the evening, arriving in London at 07:55 the next day. Return will depart at 12:00 midday, landing back in New York at 15:33 the same day. JetBlue’s service at London’s second busiest airport is a permanent fixture, as the airline has secured long-term slots for these services. Hayes said,
“We have an incredible opportunity to secure long term slots in London’s second-largest airport, and we look forward to building our presence there over the long-term. Gatwick will perfectly complete our London service, giving customers options as they plan their travel. Gatwick is an attractive choice with its low costs, speed and convenience to Central London.”
It was hoped that JetBlue would also add a connection to Boston for its transatlantic service. And it will, but not this year. The airline states that London service from Boston will begin in summer 2022.
Outrageously high fares
Hayes has never been shy to speak out against the eye-wateringly high fares on this busy travel corridor. He believes that JetBlue’s narrowbody service, which features its all-new Mint product, will disrupt the status quo and give passengers new options. He said,
“The pandemic has opened doors to London’s two busiest airports, and we look forward to bringing customers low fares and great service at both Heathrow and Gatwick. JFK-LHR, the single largest international air travel market from the US, has long suffered from outrageously high fares for far too long, especially in premium cabins.
“We’re ready to change that with a price point and experience that will impress even the most discerning transatlantic flyers. We’ve always said that JetBlue would serve multiple London airports, and we’re pleased to have secured a path at Heathrow and for long-term growth at Gatwick, which offers speed, low costs, and convenient accessibility into Central London.”
Both routes will see JetBlue’s A321LR in service, with 24 seats in the premium Mint cabin, two of which are the generously proportioned ‘Mint Studios.’ Back in economy, or core as JetBlue calls it, 117 seats will offer comfort aplenty thanks to the sleek and spacious Airspace cabin interior. Three A321s will arrive in JetBlue’s fleet this year, all flying to London from JFK.
Tickets are officially on sale today, with juicy fares for travelers at both ends of the journey. US-based fliers can enjoy Mint from $1,979 roundtrip, and core from $599, while UK travelers can avail of special introductory roundtrip fares starting at £329 in core and £999 in Mint.