JetBlue announced it has taken delivery of the airline’s first Airbus A321 Long Range (LR) aircraft, with tail N4022J arriving at JetBlue’s home at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 5 this afternoon. This A321LR was assembled at the Airbus production facility in Hamburg, Germany and will enable JetBlue to launch its first-ever transatlantic service between the U.S. and London this summer.
“The delivery of our new A321LR sets the stage for a new era at JetBlue in which we now have an aircraft allowing us to stretch our wings and become a true global carrier offering flights beyond the Americas for the first time ever,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “The A321LR platform – offering the range of a wide-body but with the economics of a single-aisle aircraft – is the right size for us and will allow us to effectively compete with our award-winning service and low fares on flights between the U.S. and London. We congratulate Airbus on bringing to life the most exciting and innovative narrow bodied aircraft cabin in the world and JetBlue is honored to be the launch customer for Airspace on the A320 family.”
The A321LR allows JetBlue to tap into new long-haul markets, like London, that were not previously accessible with the airline’s existing fleet. The LR’s range of up to 4,000 nautical miles is made possible by three additional center fuel tanks and the aircraft delivers 30 percent fuel savings and nearly 50 percent reduction in noise footprint compared to previous generations of aircraft. JetBlue converted 13 aircraft in its existing A321 order book to the LR version in April 2019 with the ability to convert more. Additionally, JetBlue has converted another 13 aircraft in its existing order book to the Extra-Long Range – or XLR – version of the A321.
JetBlue is also the global launch partner for the new Airspace by Airbus cabin, bringing long-haul style to the A321 for the first time ever. Airspace brings a series of enhancements, many customized for JetBlue, including:
- Stunning backlit ceiling panels through the entire cabin, which glow with a unique-to-JetBlue pattern.
- Custom LED mood lighting that changes throughout different phases of flight to reduce jetlag technologies.
- The largest overhead bins on a single-aisle aircraft.
- New ergonomic sidewalls creating extra personal space at shoulder level.
- A re-designed welcome area at the front boarding door.
- Refreshed onboard restrooms with antimicrobial surfaces.
The modern elements of Airspace, combined with the customizations by JetBlue, offer customers a boutique-style setting for the airline’s highly anticipated transatlantic service.
“We are honored that JetBlue is our first launch operator for the new Airspace cabin on Airbus Single-Aisle aircraft. We are also confident that the airline’s customers and crew alike will appreciate the outstanding comfort and in-flight transatlantic experience on board these aircraft,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.
JetBlue’s A321LR is powered by two Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. The GTF engine, with its revolutionary geared fan technology, is transforming aviation by delivering game-changing economic and environmental performance. The Pratt & Whitney GTF engine also incorporates advances in aerodynamics, lightweight materials and other major technology improvements.
“Today we celebrate another exciting and historical milestone between Pratt & Whitney and JetBlue,” said Carroll Lane, president of Commercial Engines at Pratt & Whitney. “The GTF-powered Airbus A321LR aircraft will allow JetBlue to fly farther, opening new routes for their customers, while delivering the economic and environmental benefits of our game-changing engine. We look forward to continuing to power their fleet for decades to come.”
Known in the U.S. for having the most legroom in coach (a), live television and on-demand entertainment on every seatback, free Fly-Fi broadband internet (b), complimentary snacks and soft drinks, and great customer service, JetBlue’s entrance into the transatlantic market will introduce a new era of customer-focused, low-fare travel for leisure and business travelers.
The airline’s Mint® premium experience – which first disrupted transcontinental travel in the U.S. and has been completely reimagined for transatlantic flying – promises to offer customers a fresh choice when flying between the U.S. and the U.K. JetBlue Mint features 24 fully lie-flat private suites with a sliding door, a custom-designed seat cushion by Tuft & Needle, and countless design touches that help every customer feel at home in the air. As part of the refresh, JetBlue will also introduce its latest innovation, the stunning Mint Studio™, which will offer the most space in a premium experience from any U.S. airline (c).
JetBlue’s industry-leading core experience has also been reinvented for crossing the pond and will offer a new level of service to customers who want a great experience at a low fare. All of the comforts JetBlue customers have come to expect will be enhanced by the recently announced partnership with Dig to bring its signature build-your-own dining concept to tray tables at 35,000 feet – JetBlue’s first complimentary meal in core. With just 114 core seats, core customers will enjoy a boutique-style experience no matter where they sit.
Customers in both core and Mint will be able to stay connected throughout the flight with the airline’s popular unlimited, free high-speed Wi-Fi. In addition, customers will have access to a curated selection of live TV channels focused on news and sports, and an extensive library of seatback entertainment – allowing customers to have a multiple screen experience onboard, just like they do at home.
Additional details about specific London routes, schedules and out-for-sale dates will be announced soon.