JetBlue Are Coming to London
JetBlue today announced their intention to start flying across the Atlantic for the first time, with two new routes to London.
The flights will start in 2021 to coincide with deliveries of the airline’s new Airbus A321neoLR aircraft.
Both Boston and New York JFK are the origins for the new routes, which will feature the airline’s Mint product onboard the aircraft.
“Twenty years ago, our founders had a simple formula for choosing a new market – it had to be overpriced, underserved, or both,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “London is the largest metro area JetBlue doesn’t yet serve from both Boston and New York, and we could not be more thrilled to be changing that in the years ahead. The fares being charged today by airlines on these routes, specifically on the premium end, are enough to make you blush.”
The highly anticipated announcement, which comes after an extensive internal review, was made today in New York at a crewmember event at John F. Kennedy International Airport. More than 1,300 crewmembers filled the airline’s hangar to hear CEO Robin Hayes and President & COO Joanna Geraghty outline the historic move for the 19-year old airline. Hayes is set to deliver the keynote address tomorrow at The Aviation Club of the U.K. in London in which he will discuss today’s announcement, as well as address competition concerns and airport access challenges in Europe.
“The big airlines will tell you that competition has never been more robust, but the smaller airlines have never found it harder to get access,” said Geraghty. “It’s time for regulators here in the U.S. and across Europe to create conditions where smaller carriers and new entrants can thrive, instead of letting the giant airlines get even bigger through joint ventures. Given a chance to compete, JetBlue can have a tremendous effect on lowering fares and stimulating traffic.”
Travelers flying across the North Atlantic between the northeast U.S. and London have long faced sky-high fares – particularly in premium cabins – or mediocre service in a market effectively controlled by legacy carriers and their massive joint ventures. Alternatively, a handful of low-cost carriers have attempted to enter with a no-frills, bare-bones approach to flying offering little in the way of complimentary amenities or the kind of service that JetBlue has become famous for in the Americas. Particularly in Europe, JetBlue will raise the bar on what travelers can expect from a low-cost carrier.
While the London airport destination has not been announced, those in the know have been commenting online today that it will in fact be Heathrow airport. This would be a surprise move, given the dearth of available slots at the busy airport. Traditionally low-cost airlines have used Luton, Stansted and Gatwick airports. If it is true, it gives JetBlue access to one of Europe’s biggest airports, and puts them in direct competition with the likes of American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, United and Virgin Atlantic.