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Transatlantic Disruption: JetBlue announces flights to London

JetBlue today finally revealed the launch date of its highly anticipated Transatlantic route to London. The airline states that it is ‘ready to disrupt the Transatlantic market’.

London launch

JetBlue will launch flights to two leading airports in London from its bases on the East Coast of the United States. Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue, said:

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. JFK-LHR, the single largest international air travel market from the US, has long suffered from outrageously high fares for far too long, especially in premium cabins. We’re ready to change that with a price point and experience that will impress even the most discerning transatlantic flyers. We’ve always said that JetBlue would serve multiple London airports, and we’re pleased to have secured a path at Heathrow and for long-term growth at Gatwick, which offers speed, low costs, and convenient accessibility into Central London.

Related: JetBlue and American Airlines unveil 8 new cities and 24 new routes in massive expansion

London Heathrow

Starting 11th August 2021, JetBlue will fly between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and London Heathrow.

Flight schedule of New York JFK-London Heathrow-New York JFK route:

  • New York-London Heathrow
  • Departure time: 21:48
  • Arrival time: 10:10 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 7 hours and 22 minutes
  • Flight number: B67
  • Frequency: Daily
  • London Heathrow-New York
  • Departure time: 18:10
  • Arrival time: 21:35
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 25 minutes
  • Flight number: B620
  • Frequency: Daily
Photo: JetBlue

The Heathrow flights are on sale now and are initially bookable up to 26th March 2022. JetBlue will operate flights from Terminal 2 at Heathrow. John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer, Heathrow Airport, said:

JetBlue’s touchdown at Heathrow as its first U.K. base is a ringing endorsement of the value we deliver for our passengers and the country. JetBlue is a fantastic airline, renowned for delivering top-quality service at competitive prices. That value for money mantra is also at the heart of what we do at Heathrow, and we’re delighted that we’ll be seeing their characteristic blue tailfins at the airport later this year. In the meantime, Ministers should help more people travel safely and boost the economy by moving more low-risk destinations – including the U.S. – to the green list as vaccination rates increase and infections decrease.

Related: JetBlue takes delivery of its first Airspace Airbus A321LR

Hayes believes that JetBlue’s exemplary service and low fares will set it apart from its competitors. He further notes that the carrier’s ability to fly to London Heathrow has been possible due to temporary slot availability during the downturn. Hayes adds that JetBlue is continuing the dialogue with slot coordinators to establish a pathway to long-term service at Heathrow continuing. He said:

Our low fares will disrupt the pricing of the major carriers and massive joint ventures; JetBlue’s presence in this market is going to be immediately noticeable to customers. When we launched Mint in 2014, we cut in half the cost of premium travel between New York and California, and now we’re ready to shake up the transatlantic market the same way, with Mint fares that will half the cost of a full-fare walkup business class seat on the legacy carriers. Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world, and our initial schedule is made possible due to temporary slot availability from the past year. We continue to work with the slot coordinators and the U.S. and U.K. governments to identify long-term pathways to continue serving Heathrow, as we believe the public benefit from true competition into this market will be extremely meaningful.

Adding Gatwick flights in September

In addition to London Heathrow services, JetBlue will also be serving the popular leisure hub of London Gatwick. Starting 29th September 2021, the airline will fly between New York JFK and London Gatwick.

Related: JetBlue to re-invent Economy class experience on Transatlantic flights

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“Being able to offer our customers the low cost, high value experience from JetBlue, with daily flights to New Yorkstarting in just a few months, is a welcome addition to the choice of airlines and destinations which Gatwick currently has. Equally we look forward to welcoming travelers from the U.S. who are looking for easy, quick access to London, the South of England and beyond. We believe this is a start of an important long-term partnership for us and we look forward adding JetBlue flights to and from Boston next year.

Flight schedule of New York JFK-London Gatwick-New York JFK route:

  • New York-London Gatwick
  • Departure time: 19:48
  • Arrival time: 07:55 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 7 hours and 7 minutes
  • Flight number: B643
  • Frequency: Daily
  • London Gatwick-New York
  • Departure time: 12:00
  • Arrival time: 15:33
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 33 minutes
  • Flight number: B644
  • Frequency: Daily

JetBlue’s service at London’s second busiest airport is a permanent fixture, as the airline has secured long-term slots for these services. Hayes said:

We have an incredible opportunity to secure long term slots in London’s second-largest airport, and we look forward to building our presence there over the long-term. Gatwick will perfectly complete our London service, giving customers options as they plan their travel. Gatwick is an attractive choice with its low costs, speed and convenience to Central London.

Boston in 2022

It was hoped that JetBlue would also add services between Boston and London. It is going to, but not this year. The airline states that London service from Boston will begin in summer 2022.

Airbus A321LR

Mint Studio. Photo: JetBlue

Both the routes will be operated by JetBlue’s Airbus A321LR featuring 24 seats in the stunning Mint Cabin, two of which are the generously proportioned ‘Mint Studios’. Back in economy, or core as JetBlue calls it, 117 seats are present. JetBlue has already revealed its plans to ‘Re-invent’ economy class experience.

New Airspace interior onboard JetBlue’s Airbus A321LR. Photo: JetBlue

JetBlue will have a total of 3 Airbus A321LR in its fleet by the year end, all flying to London from New York JFK. The carrier has already taken delivery of the first aircraft.

Tickets are officially on sale today, with juicy fares for travelers at both ends of the journey. US-based fliers can enjoy Mint from $1,979 roundtrip, and core from $599, while UK travelers can avail of special introductory roundtrip fares starting at £329 in core and £999 in Mint.

Featured image by JetBlue

What do you think of JetBlue’s London launch? Do you think that the airline will be able to ‘disrupt’ the market? Let me know in the comments section below.

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