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.
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”.