Regular readers will know that two weeks ago we reported how US airline JetBlue was showing up on the Heathrow Airport website.
This implied that the well-regarded US low-cost carrier – albeit a low-cost carrier with an excellent flat bed business class seat – would not necessarily be using the Gatwick and Stansted slots it had been allocated.
A new filing by Airport Coordination, the independent body which manages airport slot allocations, confirms this and adds additional detail.
It is now official that JetBlue has been given slots for a total of 270 London Heathrow flights for the Summer 2021 season, which runs until the end of October. This covers:
- 1 x daily New York flight from 2nd August
- 1 x 4-weekly Boston flights from 13th September, increasing to daily from 20th September
This means that both of JetBlue’s initial routes will depart from Terminal 2 at Heathrow, whereas we originally thought that it only had slots for New York.
There are still more questions to ask, however.
- JetBlue wants to run multiple daily services to New York and Boston – indeed, it needs to run multiple daily services if it is to win corporate clients – but can it really get 6-8 daily slot pairs at Heathrow given time?
- Summer and Winter season slot allocations are separate, so even if JetBlue has these Summer slots permanently (and this isn’t certain – they could be on loan) it still needs to secure slots to continue operating between November 2021 and March 2022
It is looking quite positive, however, and in reality there will be some Heathrow slots coming onto the market from carriers which permanently retrench post-covid – albeit serving the US market requires slots at specific times of day.
As a reminder, JetBlue will be operating with Airbus A321LR single-aisle aircraft, the same type that Aer Lingus will be flying from Manchester to New York and Boston.
Here is the updated ‘Mint’ business class seat you will see. JetBlue is not part of any airline alliance so you will need to put your hand in your pocket if you want to try it.