Last night, JetBlue Flight B6007 left New York JFK to land at London Heathrow just over seven hours later at 09:36 BST this morning. Simple Flying was there to welcome the hybrid carrier to the United Kingdom as it celebrated the inauguration of its transatlantic flights.
21 years in the making
JetBlue had utilized the Aer Lingus lounge for the event. There was an exciting mood among the officials following the grand arrival. Staff on-site highlighted that it had been such a quiet year or so with a lack of positive announcements. So, this flight was a welcome change of pace.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes soon took the stage to shared his gratitude to the pilots and wider staff that got the aircraft across the ocean safely before thanking founder David Neeleman, who was also on the scene. He highlighted that those in Core class had plenty of legroom while enjoying free IFE, including WiFi, as his team doesn’t believe that these amenities should be exclusive for those at the front of the cabin.
The executive noted that those flying would have enjoyed the new Airspace cabin that JetBlue was the first to take delivery of. Hayes concluded that he appreciated the efforts of those at Airbus, Pratt & Whitney, and of course Heathrow to make this service happen. He also emphasized the impact that his carrier has already had on the transatlantic market.
“Before JetBlue loaded all of its fares, it wasn’t uncommon to see business class going for $6,000 A ticket. Well, guess what, when I looked yesterday, all of the airlines are suddenly charging up to $2,000 for business class return into Heathrow across the Atlantic,” Hayes shared in today’s press conference that Simple Flying attended.
“That wasn’t a COVID thing because COVID was around a few months ago – it’s the JetBlue effect.”
Plenty of preparation
This flight followed the arrival of JetBlue’s A321LR in London for testing last month. Amid the successful preparation, the day to launch passenger services has finally arrived. The very same unit – registration N4022J arrived again today.
Today, Flight B620 departs Heathrow at 14:05 BST to land at JFK at an estimate of 17:28 EDT. On the return, Flight B67 will depart at 21:48 EDT to bring passengers from JFK to Heathrow to continue the daily operations throughout this month.
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Overcoming the challenges
JetBlue’s leadership highlighted that even though things have gotten off to a flying start, there needs to be a change in governmental policy for the aviation industry to truly thrive in the new climate. The UK has now relaxed its restrictions for those flying in from the United States. However, the US is yet to calm restrictions for those flying into the country. Altogether, JetBlue COO Joanna Geraghty is hopeful that things will change before the end of the year.
Nonetheless, today’s event is a step in the right direction for the market. JetBlue concludes that David Neeleman’s low-cost vision has now been fulfilled when it comes to transatlantic operations.
What are your thoughts about JetBlue’s inauguration of flights between New York and London? Are you looking to fly with the airline on this route? Let us know what you think of these operations and their prospects in the comment section.