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JetBlue to launch with Gatwick and Stansted flights

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US low-cost but semi-premium carrier JetBlue has been tight-lipped about its plans to launch a transatlantic service to London next year, but the cat is finally out of the bag!

According to slot allocations as spotted by Paxex.aero, the airline has been awarded two slot pairs at both Gatwick and Stansted.

JetBlue A321LR tail fin

The slot filing suggests that JetBlue will launch double daily flights between Stansted and Boston, whilst Gatwick will see a once-daily flight to New York JFK. It’s not clear what JetBlue intends to do with its other Gatwick slot pair.

It sounds like JetBlue is still hoping that it will be able to acquire some Heathrow slots before the flights launch in Q3 2021. With many airlines flying reduced schedules it may be easier than ever for JetBlue to do so. The question is whether it is worth doing this if there was little hope of getting permanent slots at the airport.

These will be JetBlue’s first European flights and will operate with a brand new Airbus A321LR. These are single aisle aircraft modified for Longer Range operations (hence the LR) and are capable of flying between Western Europe and the Eastern US. It is the same aircraft that Aer Lingus has bought and will use for its forthcoming Manchester-US flights.

Above is JetBlue’s first A321LR in the paintshop.

Whilst JetBlue is technically a low cost carrier, it is known for its ‘Mint’ transcontinental business class cabin offering lie-flat business class seats on flights between the East and West US coasts. Whilst we’ve never tried it, Mint has quite a cult following.

As part of its international launch, JetBlue is promising to “reimagine” Mint for transatlantic services, offering “premium service at a fraction of fares offered today”.

Comments (88)

  • ChrisBCN says:

    Heathrow free travel zone – I’d wager this policy will be reversed before Christmas.

    As soon as the news gets out wider, it’ll be walked back (neither the Mayor or government will be happy, plus the PR around trying to be greener etc etc).

    • Lady London says:

      Will be fun to watch if you’re right @ChrisBCN. I hope someone points it out when it happens so I don’t miss itm

    • ChrisC says:

      Somehow I think TFL were in discussions with HAL about this for sometime so it won’t have been a surprise to them.

      Not sure if the government will care very much.

  • Gormlesstraveller says:

    The Free Travel Zone wasn’t really advertised at the airport. You had to already know about it to use it, and even bus drivers didn’t seem to know where the boundaries were or which hotel was within.

  • Phillip says:

    Swiss has done BoB from Geneva for a while. Business class passengers were able to choose something off the menu for free. No special meals etc.

  • Sam says:

    Not that I support buy on board, but when has eating on the plane become a thing? Technically there is only one hour in the air, and this is bearable so you’re not forced to buy their snacks or also heavily-processed sandwiches (read the labels please) on board. I sometimes don’t get why people would want to buy these overpriced corner shop food on the plane when they can just eat some freshly-made food under an hour when they land. Or just eat at the airport and buy your own snacks from WH Smith. Club Europe has really substandard catering (essentially the same Economy food served in long-haul flights) so I don’t know why catering at BA is still something to expect, or why BA this used as a standard to compare inflight catering.

    • Peter K says:

      “Technically there is only one hour in the air”. Not sure where that covers from? How about the canaries or turkey or Greek islands or….?
      You also assume that decent food is available for all people abroad in the terminal, something I have definitely not found the case. Having been delayed 3hrs in an airport where the only things available for sale that I could eat were cured ham, cheese and chocolate/sweets (trust me, I had 3hrs to ask about, scour and check everything), it’s nice to be guaranteed something you can eat on a plane (special meals in club).

  • Mike says:

    Judging by how little interest there is in the LHG group story it shows how few people here on HfP fly DLH! I’m rather disappointed I won’t be addressed by my name… (joke) and get my couple of bottles of Warsteiner on EDI-FRA or a few glasses of Sekt/Prosecco-depending what was loaded. I wonder whats next, no more seat blocking for SEN? (LH invented theoretical seating back when BA were using a MS DOS screen…).

  • Mike says:

    By the way Rob, according to the info, OS will give nothing, not even water. LX gives water and a chocolate, LH water and a biscuit.

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