JetBlue to Launch London Route as Beginning of Transatlantic Expansion

Jetblue will be converting 13 of its A321 orders to the long-range version for London trips. (Airbus)

JetBlue will begin flying multiple daily flights to London from both New York and Boston in 2021, the airline announced April 10, as an entree to the European market.

The operator has been in service only two decades, relatively to nearly a century for many of the legacy airlines, but it has grown substantially. From it’s New York, Boston and Washington hubs, JetBlue currently flies to a number of international destinations in South America and the Caribbean, with a reach extending as far as Peru, but London will be the airline’s first foray into across the Atlantic.

“Twenty years ago, our founders had a simple formula for choosing a new market – it had to be overpriced, underserved, or both,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue president and COO. “The fares being charged today by airlines on these routes, specifically on the premium end, are enough to make you blush.”

JetBlue, whose fleet comprises Airbus A320 and A321s and Embraer 190s, plans to fly the route with the A321LR; it is converting 13 of its A321neo orders into the long-range version for the transatlantic route, with the option for more later on. London makes sense as a destination given the size of the market and its location, but JetBlue is expressing interest in growing from there into other locations in the European theatre; no details are available on when or where that growth would take place.

The route will include New York’s John F. Kennedy International and Boston’s Logan International Airports, though the airline said it has not yet picked an airport in London — Heathrow and Gatwick are the busiest.

In addition to announcing the transatlantic plans, JetBlue also said it plans to reimagine its Mint premium service for the oceanic voyage, with promises to offer a first-class experience at “a fraction of what other airlines are charging today for premium seats.”

“The success Mint has had on driving down the exorbitant airfares that our competitors were charging, stimulating new demand, and forcing the entrenched carriers to up their game, is a big reason we believe London is the next natural market for JetBlue to be successful and make a positive impact on consumers,” said Geraghty.

Receive the latest avionics news right to your inbox