One of the best US domestic business class offerings on the market is the Jet Blue premium cabin, called Jet Blue Mint.
This business class experience is quite the treat, as it features sliding doors, the longest lie-flat seat across America (Up to 6 feet and 8 inches of room, with a massage feature no less), 15” entertainment unit, delicious food and has WIFI available.
It’s so enthralling that even youtube sensation Casey Neistat did a review:
Currently Jet Blue offers mint on routes throughout the united states (depending on the aircraft) and select routes to/from the Caribbean.
However, now that they have a new possible trans-Atlantic route on the cards, Boston to London, will it feature Mint?
Why Boston to London?
Jet Blue wants to enter the very lucrative trade across the ocean, and feels that logically a London destination is a place to start.
“I think London is now the biggest market we don’t serve out of Boston. We look at the obscene fares that carriers are charging in that market and we think we can bring price discipline.” – CEO Robin Hayes, Jet Blue
It makes economic sense too. Most business class fares across this route (On BA, Virgin and Delta) are easily over $5000 return. If Jet Bue can offer the class for only $700 each way (They fly the LA – NY route for only $1000 each way), then they will actually have the cheapest lie flat beds across the route (unless you could Norwegians recent foray into running an A380 with first class cabins!).
As Jet Blue considers its first US to Europe route, they may need to consider how some changed may need to be made to the Mint cabin to compete with current offerings.
With the routes Boston to London being 3272 miles / 5265.77 km / 2843.29 nautical miles respectively, their current on-order Airbus A321’s can just do the distance, they might want to upgrade to the offer Airbus A321LR that can easily make the hop over the Atlantic. As part of their order with Airbus (They have 85 planes on order), they have the chance to upgrade some of the planes to the long-range variant.
“We have 85 [Airbus A321]neos that we can upgrade to long-range versions..We certainly have things in place when we are ready to push,”
Whilst Jet Blue Mint will be very successful on US to Europe routes, we wonder how their economy will match up compared to the likes of Norwegian and Primera, who have larger planes and rock-bottom prices (Primera just launch a slew of new routes for $99).
“I give [Norwegian] a lot of credit,” he said. “I think they’ve had a disruptive effect and it helps us in putting pressure on low-fares in the transatlantic which means that airlines have to charge more for the front [of the plane] to offset and that creates an opportunity for us.”
Jet Blue, of course, is keeping their cards close to their chest, realising how loud movements hampered Norwegians similar expansion.
“I don’t want to tip people off,” Hayes said. “The competitive response to this is something we have to think about.”
On a personal note, as a Australian that has to fly plenty of distances across the Pacific, a lay flat seat on a plane for only $700 sounds like a steal.
Stay tuned to find out.
Featured Image: JetBlue