JetBlue might launch low-cost transatlantic flights to London

The US budget carrier promises “better service and lower fares than anyone”

One of the best-rated airline carriers in the United States — jetBlue — is reportedly set to launch transatlantic flights.

Jetblue might use the long-range variant of newly ordered Airbus A321s — Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock JetBlue might launch low-cost transatlantic flights to London
Jetblue might use the long-range variant of newly ordered Airbus A321s — Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock

According to the airline’s CEO, Robin Hayes, jetBlue has been looking to establish their London flights with the aim to provide “better service and lower fares than anyone”.

“We’re actively looking at it now,” Hayes told The Independent.

He added that a transatlantic network would be based only at New York-JFK and Boston which are the carrier’s two main hubs. The narrow-bodied long-range Airbus A321LR will most likely be used to operate the route.

The carrier is expected to start taking delivery of the first of more than 80 Airbus A321neos this year. Airbus provides the option to convert some of those deliveries to the long-range variant.

London–Boston premium fare is twice as expensive as London–Singapore

Currently, business-class fares for London to Boston and New York are typically over $10,500 return. For comparison, a twice as long connection between London and Singapore is usually half the price.  

The transatlantic connection would be operated only from Boston and New York JFK — Shutterstock JetBlue might launch low-cost transatlantic flights to London
The transatlantic connection would be operated only from Boston and New York JFK — Shutterstock

Hayes said: “Premium fares are very, very high. Airlines have continued to increase them believing they’re not really elastic at that price level.”

He added that he believes jetBlue can bring fares down while still making a reasonable profit comparing the situation to their Mint fare used for their transcontinental flights.

“Since we launched [Mint], transcontinental fares have approximately halved,” he told The Independent.

The carrier is reportedly set to organise a staff meeting on 10 April in New York described as “a chat about JetBlue’s vision and strategy.

A JetBlue spokesman said: “We plan to announce our decision on the long-range version of the A321 in 2019.”

He added: “Potential routes to Europe could provide us with an opportunity to grow our focus cities of Boston and New York as we consider the best use of our aircraft from a margin perspective in those cities.”