It’s was a special day for JetBlue Airways where the long time U.S. domestic and Caribbean carrier makes its first venture into the transatlantic market.
The initial flight is set for August into Heathrow and then in September for Gatwick Airport also in London. Both flights will operate daily and both flights will be on a single aisle A321LR. This single aisle airplane will be re-designed to seat 24 in JetBlue’s signature mint service.
The JFK to Heathrow service begins Aug. 11th, departing the U.S .airport at 10.10 p.m. and arriving in Heathrow’s Terminal 2 at 10.10 a.m. the following day. The return leg leaves at 6.10 p.m. and arrives back at JFK at 9.43 p.m.
CEO Robin Hayes remarked; “The pandemic has opened doors to London’s two busiest airports, and we look forward to bringing customers low fares and great service at both Heathrow and Gatwick. Hayes then went on to add; “this route has suffered from outrageously high fares for far too long, and we vow to bring the cost down.”
Next year, the airline is expected to expand their transatlantic routes to include Boston to London.
As reported in Metropolitan Airport News in 2019, JetBlue first announced its ambition to begin transatlantic flights in April 2019, saying growth into Europe was the “next natural step” in its focus city expansion strategy, with London being the largest destination not served by JetBlue from both New York and Boston.
At one point in time, the airline had also expressed interest in flying to Stansted, also a London airport in the northeastern periphery, but this has been deferred or shelved because it was not mentioned in the Press Release. Stansted is located about 42 miles northeast of Central London.
JetBlue aims to disrupt the pricing of the major carriers and massive joint ventures. When they launched Mint in 2014, they cut in half the cost of premium travel between New York and California thereby shaking up the market.
Hayes added that JetBlue would continue to work with the slot coordinators and the U.S. and U.K. governments to “identify long-term pathways to continue serving Heathrow” so that it can carry on serving the U.K.’s largest airport beyond March 2022.
The route between JFK and Gatwick will start on Sept. 29, departing JFK at 7.50 p.m. and arriving at Gatwick’s North Terminal at 7.55 a.m. the following day. The return flight leaves Gatwick at 12 p.m. and arrives back at JFK at 3.33 p.m.
“We have an incredible opportunity to secure long term slots in London’s airports, and we look forward to building our presence there over the long-term,” Hayes said.