JetBlue To Launch London – Boston & New York JFK

JetBlue will fly from London to Boston & New York JFK from 2021 with the Airbus A321 LR aircraft, featuring its “Mint” premium cabin.

London Air Travel » Boston

Hudson River Park New York
Hudson River Park New York (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

JetBlue is to launch its first transatlantic routes from London to Boston and New York JFK from 2021.

Flights will be operated with Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft. JetBlue has converted 13 of its existing orders for Airbus A321 aircraft to the long range version.

It will feature an updated version of JetBlue’s signature “Mint” premium cabin which operates on select transcontinental routes in the US. JetBlue also promises to undercut existing premium transatlantic fares.

There is a lot JetBlue has not said in today’s announcement.

JetBlue has not specified which London airport it will fly from. It is highly likely that JetBlue will pursue hard access to Heathrow. It has been explicitly lobbying for slots at Heathrow to be made available as a condition of Air France-KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic combining their transatlantic joint-ventures. The American Airlines and British Airways transatlantic joint-venture is also under review by the Competitions & Markets Authority pending its renewal. From JetBlue’s press statements it is clearly targeting the major transatlantic joint-ventures and will be lobbying against these on both sides of the atlantic.

JetBlue has also not given any indications of potential schedules and frequencies. Though a fleet of 13 aircraft for transatlantic operations, some of which will ultimately operate from other European cities, should allow for a significant schedule.

Any new entrant should be welcomed. JetBlue has a lot going its favour. It haas a strong brand with a significant presence in Boston and New York. However, with a relatively small transatlantic operation and a small dedicated fleet, it will need to have sufficient contingency measures in place in the event of operational issues. Any short notice delays, cancellations and aircraft substitutions will result in goodwill being lost.

JetBlue’s announcement has been trailed long in advance and has not gone unnoticed by its competitors. Delta and Virgin Atlantic have already announced plans to fly from Gatwick to Boston and New York JFK in 2020. Should JetBlue ultimately choose to fly from Gatwick, it would be surprising if American Airlines and BA (which already flies from Gatwick to New York JFK) don’t make a similar competitive response.

JetBlue London Transatlantic Flights Infographic
JetBlue London Transatlantic Flights Infographic (Image Credit: JetBlue)

Delta & Virgin To Launch Gatwick – Boston / New York JFK

Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate joint-flights from London Gatwick to Boston and New York JFK in 2020.

London Air Travel » Boston

Hudson River Park New York
Hudson River Park New York (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Delta and Virgin Atlantic have announced that the two airlines are to jointly fly from London Gatwick to Boston and New York JFK from 2020.

There’s a curious lack of detail in the announcement. Neither Delta nor Virgin Atlantic have confirmed which airlines will operating the routes, though Delta’s press release intimates that it will operate at least one of the routes. There’s also no mention of whether this will be a seasonal or year-round route, nor which aircraft will be used. In any event, eligible passengers will benefit from Virgin Atlantic ground facilities at Gatwick such as its Clubhouse in the North Terminal.

For Delta, this will mark a return to London Gatwick which it first served on 1 May 1978 flying to New Orleans via Atlanta using a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar aircraft. Virgin Atlantic launched daily flights from Gatwick to New York JFK in September 1989, and Boston in May 1991, before transferring both routes to London Heathrow after securing access to the airport in July 1991.

It is no accident that this announcement has been made ahead of a press event next week JetBlue which is expected to unveil plans to launch transatlantic flights to Europe. JetBlue has made no secret of its plans to launch transatlantic flights. It has been lobbying US regulatory authorities for slots at London Heathrow to be released as condition of Delta merging its transatlantic joint-ventures with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic into one. However, this has yet to be concluded.

Boston is currently served from Gatwick by Norwegian. New York JFK is also served by BA and Norwegian. Whilst Delta is keen to emphasise its overall strength in Boston, London – Boston is a very important route for BA. Given BA serves Boston four times daily from Heathrow it would be surprising if it did not make a similar competitive response, should JetBlue announce plans to fly to Boston from Gatwick. These moves will of course place significant competitive pressure on Norwegian at Gatwick. JetBlue’s announcement on Wednesday 10 April 2019 is eagerly awaited.

Hopping from Boston to Cape Cod on Cape Air

Flying on Cape Air from Boston to Provincetown on a 9 seat Cessna 402 Turboprop aircraft.

London Air Travel » Boston

Cape Cod
Cape Cod (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Something a little different, as it is summer…

The peninsula of Cape Cod and the islands of the New England have long been a popular summer destination for locals and visitors. You can of course get there by a combination of road and ferry. But if you prefer to avoid the hordes and enjoy a more exclusive experience, you can fly on one of the US’s smaller regional airlines, Cape Air.

We’ve taken a few flights on Cape Air over the past couple of years. It’s a quite different experience to what you may be accustomed to flying the Airbus A320 workhorses of short-haul travel in Europe where, if we’re honest, there are few reliable pleasures.

Cape Air

Cape Air has been flying for nearly 30 years.

Cape Air’s principal hub is in Boston where it serves destinations such as Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Provincetown, Cape Cod. Some are seasonal services. Others operate year-round. It also operates a small number of routes from White Plains, Westchester County, New York.

The vast majority of flights are operated with Cessna 402 Turboprop aircraft, with seating for just nine passengers.
Continue reading “Hopping from Boston to Cape Cod on Cape Air”

Primera Air to launch Stansted – Boston & Newark

Primera Air is to launch direct flights from London Stansted to Boston and Newark in Spring 2018.

London Air Travel » Boston

Primera Air
Primera Air

Primera Air is to launch direct flights frowm London Stansted to Boston and Newark in the spring of 2018.

Flights from London Stansted to Boston will launch on Saturday 19 May 2018, operating four times weekly.

Flights to from London Stansted to Newark will launch on Thursday 19 April 2018, operating daily.

These flights will be the first transatlantic operations from London Stansted in many years.

What is also noteworthy is that Primera Air will be using the Airbus A321 aircraft, in a two class economy and premium economy configuration.

Primera Air will be the first airline to use this aircraft for transatlantic flights from the U.K.   It will be interesting to see if this aircraft facilitates more expansion and more new entrants into the market, in the same way the Boeing 787 facilitated the arrival of Norwegian at London Gatwick and the launch of many new routes by BA at London Heathrow.

The airline is a relatively unknown name in the UK.  Its operations are mainly based in Scandinavia, operating short-haul flights in Europe.

Primera Air is of course not the first airline to seek to enter the UK transatlantic market.  There is a long list of airlines that have tried and failed: eos, MaxJet, SilverJet and La Compagnie.

Given that its rivals offer very high levels of frequency on this route and many of its passengers are wielded to their frequent flyer cards, a strong marketing effort will also be required to generate traffic.

If Primera Air is to be successful in what is a very competitive market then it will need to instil confidence, before and after launch, that it will have reliable operations with sufficient contingency plans if things go wrong.

Flights are on sale now at Primera Air with promotional fares from £149 each way.

Update February 2018:. Primera Air has since announced it will launch three times weekly flights to Toronto Pearson from Saturday 19 May 2018 and four times weekly flights to Washington Dulles from Wednesday 22 August 2018.

London Stansted – Boston

Flight PF043 Depart London Stansted 17:00 – Arrive Boston 20:10 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Flight PF044 Depart Boston 21:40 – London Stansted 09:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

London Stansted – Newark

Flight PF041 Depart London Stansted 17:55 – Arrive Newark 21:20
Flight PF042 Depart Newark 22:50 – Arrive London Stansted 11:00

London Flight Cancellations due to “Storm Stella”

London Air Travel » Boston

Delta Air Lines - New York - January 2018
Delta Air Lines – New York

“Storm Stella” is expected to cause very severe disruption across the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday 14 March 2017.

As a consequence, a large number of transatlantic flights from London’s airports are cancelled on Tuesday 14 March.  Flights to New York, Boston and Philadelphia are most affected with widespread cancellations.  There are delays and cancellations to Baltimore and Washington as well.

Airlines have also implemented flexible rebooking policies for those who are due to travel to the East Coast of the USA this week.

If your flight is cancelled you should be entitled to a full refund or a rebooking to an alternative date.

Here is the latest information from airlines operating transatlantic flights from London on Tuesday 14 March.

As at 23:00 GMT Tuesday 14 March, transatlantic operations from London’s airports should return to normal on Wednesday 15 March.

Continue reading “London Flight Cancellations due to “Storm Stella””

Virgin Atlantic takes firsts steps to create Manchester hub

London Air Travel » Boston

Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic has today, 31 March 2016, announced that it is to launch new routes from Manchester to Boston & San Francisco from late March 2017.

Boston will initially operate twice weekly (Wednesdays & Saturdays) and San Francisco will initially operate thrice weekly (Tuesdays, Fridays, & Sundays).

Flights will be operated by Virgin Atlantic’s fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft with Upper Class (business), premium economy and economy seating.

Virgin Atlantic has of course long had a presence in Manchester. It flies to Orlando, Barbados, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. The latter being the hub of its transatlantic partner and minority shareholder, Delta Air Lines.

However, what is noteworthy about today’s announcement is that first these routes seemingly are geared to attracting business as well as leisure traffic.

Furthermore, Virgin will, for the first time we believe, offer a significant number of short-haul connections at Manchester with Flybe from a large number of airports in the UK and Europe such as Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Exeter, Southampton and Newquay.

As such, today’s announcement could presage the development of small, but growing, hub for Virgin Atlantic at Manchester.

It is also good to see Virgin Atlantic expanding after a period of contraction at London Heathrow with the closure of its “Little Red” domestic flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester, as well as the closure of a number of routes such as Cape Town, Mumbai, Tokyo and Vancouver.

It also points to a very growing and competitive transatlantic market in the UK. Indeed, Boston and San Francisco are two recently announced routes by Norwegian at London Gatwick.

In terms of competitive response from carriers in London, we don’t expect any immediate response from British Airways or its parent company IAG.

BA attracted considerable criticism many years ago for withdrawing its final non-London international route, Manchester – New York JFK. BA would no doubt point to its growing transatlantic network in London, its codeshare partner American Airlines flights from Manchester to New York JFK, Chicago and Philadelphia and its IAG sibling Aer Lingus flights to North America from Manchester via Dublin (with the benefit of pre-clearance). That said, we have no doubt today’s developments will be watched with interest.

Virgin’s flights from Manchester to Boston and San Francisco are on sale at Virgin Atlantic.

Norwegian to launch London Gatwick – Boston from May 2016

London Air Travel » Boston

Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Norwegian has today announced it is to launch a new route from London Gatwick to Boston from May 2016.

The exact launch date and timetable are to be confirmed, but flights will operate four times weekly.

This is the fourth North American route for Norwegian from London Gatwick after New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale.

The airline will also fly to Puerto Rico from November 2015.

This news will be welcomed by London Gatwick as it is the first time in many years Boston has been served by the airport.

Flights will be on sale at Norwegian.

Norwegian has stated in the Financial Times that it has ambitions to serve many more long haul destinations from the UK beyond the Americas and to Africa and Asia.

Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural Boeing 787 flight to Boston

London Air Travel » Boston

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic has commenced Boeing 787 passenger flights today (Tuesday 28 October 2014) with its inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Boston.

Flight VS11 departed London Heathrow for Boston Logan International Airport shortly after its scheduled departure time of 17:35. Virgin also operated a test flight from London Gatwick to Atlanta on Friday 24 October, which is pictured below.

Whilst today marks the official launch of passenger flights for the Boeing 787, according to Airline Route the 787 will not operate from 31 October to 14 November to allow for crew familiarisation flights.

The replacement of quad-engine Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s at London Heathrow with the twin-engine Boeing 787 is cited as a significant step in restoring Virgin Atlantic to profitability, together with its nascent transatlantic joint-venture with Delta Air Lines. Virgin Atlantic originally ordered 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with options for 8 aircraft and purchase rights for a further 20 aircraft.

Continue reading “Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural Boeing 787 flight to Boston”

Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Initial seat plans published

London Air Travel » Boston

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic is readying for the launch of its inaugural Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight from London Heathrow to Boston on 28 October 2014.

Embed from Getty Images

Sir Richard Branson pictured in a mock-up of the Boeing 787, some seven years ago.

The airline has published a microsite detailing its plans.

Continue reading “Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Initial seat plans published”

Delta moves New York, Boston & Seattle to London Heathrow Terminal 3

London Air Travel » Boston

Delta at London Heathrow
Delta at London Heathrow (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines have been busy putting the final touches to their transatlantic joint-venture which launches next year.

Schedules to Boston and New York have been tweaked. Delta launches a daily flight to Seattle on 29 March 2014 and a second daily flight to Detroit on 9 June 2014.

In the most significant move to date, Delta is relocating its services from London Heathrow to Boston, New York and Seattle from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Terminal 3 from 2 April 2014.

Continue reading “Delta moves New York, Boston & Seattle to London Heathrow Terminal 3”