JetBlue to launch low-cost flights from London to New York and Boston in 2021

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Low-cost US airline JetBlue announced its first international routes last night – but not until 2021.

The airline will be launching daily flights from London to both New York JFK and Boston.

You are probably wondering which airport JetBlue will use.  It isn’t saying, and for good reason.  In the US, it is lobbying hard for Delta, Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Air France to be forced to sacrifice slots at London Heathrow in return for allowing their expanded joint venture to be approved.

If Heathrow slots are released, JetBlue wants them.  If they are not, it is likely to choose Gatwick instead.

It isn’t a coincidence that Delta announced last week that it would launch services to Gatwick from New York and Boston in 2020 ….

You can bet a few pounds that British Airways or American Airlines will be launching Gatwick to Boston next year too.  BA already operates Gatwick to New York, and Norwegian flies from Gatwick to New York and Boston.  It is a crowded field.

JetBlue to launch London from New York and Boston

JetBlue will use single-aisle A321LR aircraft, of which it has 13 on order.  These are the same planes that Aer Lingus is using to expand its schedule to the US East Coast, since this new variant of the A321 has enough fuel capacity to cross the Atlantic.

As well as London, the planes also have the reach to fly from JetBlue’s Boston and JFK bases to Amsterdam, Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid and Paris.

JetBlue has a premium cabin called Mint.  It is promising to “reimagine” Mint for transatlantic services, offering “premium service at a fraction of fares offered today”.

2021 is a long way away, however, and a lot can happen in aviation in two years.  It remains to be seen whether JetBlue can survive a pincer movement from BA/AA, Virgin/Delta and Norwegian.

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  1. How “low cost” is low cost? I can already fly from London to New York for about £250 on the lowest fare, if planning well in advance.

  2. Dean B says:

    JetBlue already has shorthaul international flights.

    I flew to Barbados with them from Florida in March, and I think they have various other Caribbean & LatAm routes

  3. Fingers crossed. I’ll take JB over Norwegian any day.

  4. Mits10 says:

    Potential for an Emirates codeshare on these routes given that JB are a close Skywards partner? A new Skywards earn/redeem opportunity?? This is great news as the current Mint cabin is excellent!

  5. I’ve no idea if this is reflective of their general level of service but my only experience of them was when I had a delayed/cancelled flight from New York to Washington DC. After a couple of hours of delays they happily announced that the plane had taken off from its original destination only to then announce it was still in Boston a couple of hours later and hadn’t ever taken off. I can’t remember the other specifics but they’re staff told/were told someone more senior to tell other lies too.

    • *their.

    • You could have tracked the plane on FR24 and called them out on it.

      They’ll have to take on the obligations of whatever replaces EC261/2004 in the UK.

      • Although only when departing the UK, not for inbound flights from the USA.

  6. JetBlue has a premium cabin called Mint – perhaps for the UK market it could be renamed as “minted”

  7. Dwadda says:

    My recollection was that Mint (that includes a lie flat seat) was about half the price of the big three for NY-SF. That would be great if they got LHR slots. BA makes a $1b in profit just on the LHR-NYC route (the most lucrative in the world). A bit of price competition seems warranted.

    • insider says:

      i can’t help but think that APD and other airport related costs in the UK (especially LHR) would water down any significant savings

    • They certainly make a chunk of money on that route, but it’s $1bn in revenue not profit!

    • Andrew MS says:

      1 billion turnover , not profit

  8. BHX has an obvious opening after United pulled out and Primera went bust. Same routes mentioned too

    • Dwadda says:

      Jetblue will focus (market to) on US customers who want to go to London. STN is a better bet esp if they could somehow partner with Ryanair, which would open up the rest of Europe too. Given that Boeing has no 737s that are safe to cross the pond, there is no potential conflict, and a lot of synergies between the two lccs… Except that Ryanair passengers would be shocked by thr legroom that Jetblue provides!

      • flyforfun says:

        Southend Airport should be considered as a London option, particularly as it takes about the same from Liverpool Street to get to both airports! They would get lower landing fees there so the cost should be even more attractive. Plus there’s the benefit of a less crowded airport (currently at least!)

      • RussellH says:

        American Tourists like Oxford too.
        With some intelligent information provision to its customer base in the US, BHX ought to be able to work for Jet Blue – direct rail connections from BHX to both London and Oxford, and one change at Leamington for Stratford-on-Avon too.
        Maybe BHX needs to take a leaf out of the Ryanair Handbook and re-market itself as London North. It is just as easy to get there from here in the far northwest of England as MAN by train.

        • Andrew says:

          Sadly, London Oxford Airport is 300ft too short for their A321s to land and 3000ft too short for their A321s to take off.

          Also the cost for getting to and from BHX is outrageous most of the time. One train an hour from Oxford costing £82.55 return, with a fairly late first train and early last train. It actually costs less for a return from Oxford to Birmingham New Street via BHI!

          The Oxford-Heathrow or Oxford-Gatwick coaches run 24 hours and only cost from £29 return .

        • callum says:

          Really? Of the 100+ Americans I’ve spoken to about visiting the UK, I can recall only one or two who said they went to Oxford – and that was on trips from London.

          I find it hard to believe that JetBlue would ever consider flying to Birmingham to try and capture the New York to Oxford market!

      • It’l probably be Gatwick.

      • I was thinking the same but Luton and Wizz. Reasons?
        Luton has a much bigger catchment area for point to point travel and most of the wizz air destination cities don’t have direct connections to NYC.

    • Catalan says:

      @AJ. That’s the very reason JetBlue shouldn’t consider BHX !

  9. Dwadda says:

    Hmm, I think that standard seat pitch on Jetblue is 32″, and 18″ seat width (being an A320).

    That is much better than BA’s 29″ pitch and 17.2″ width (claimed for 787).

    Jetblue will have the most comfortable economy seating crossing the pond. You can pay a little extra for 34-36″ seat pitch too, so that will eat into premium economy market.

    Bring on the comfort competition.

    • Pitch doesn’t always correlate with legroom though.

      • Dwadda says:

        As someone who has flown 20 flights (only 8 in biz) and 75000 km since January (an app I use told me) my personal experience is that seat pitch is very much correlated to my comfort.

        The newer thinner seats are literally a pain in ass for longer trips.

    • Doug M says:

      I’ve used JetBlue in the US as they’re almost always cheaper when I’ve checked. Economy on their flights is fine, legroom and comfort all good. I really like them. Great IFE options.

  10. John Pagani says:

    I’ve personally flown mint several times, jfk-lax, if they can truly reduce fares and fly from lhr, I’d say they’re onto a winner. The convivial service with a hint of sass makes for a very enjoyable experience, especially after a couple of their own signature cocktail called MINT. . The food is tapas style and the amenity kit regularly revolves around the latest hip beauty products from either city.

    • Agree, have read lots of positive reviews re JetBlue (esp their MINT product).

  11. Dwadda says:

    O/T is BA considering 10 abreast on 777? That’s 16.5″ seat width.. That should be against the law. You are in physical contact with your neighbours. “Armpit to the left of me, armpit to the right…”

    Cathay has done it. I refuse to fly economy on those planes. I check every plane, this practice is inhumane.

    • Richard says:

      considering? BA already has some/many 777s that are 10 abreast?

    • most airlines are doing it and if they haven’t done it already then it’s just a matter of time. Ironically the Japanese airlines don’t squeeze in the seats even though people in japan are generally smaller than people in Europe. The same on Japanese trains. a huge amount of knee room even in second class.
      when I walk down the aisle in economy of a BA 787 I can’t even walk straight, i have to walk sideways like a crab since the aisle is so narrow.

    • You refuse, but all those new middle classes are grabbing up those economy fares like crazy.

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