London Air Travel’s Atlantic Update – 12 February 2020

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Breeze Airways Livery
Breeze Airways Livery (Image Credit: Breeze Airways)

Hello and welcome to London Air Travel’s Atlantic Update providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 GMT.

David Neeleman Prepares To Launch Breeze Airways

The founder of JetBlue David Neeleman has begun the process of launching his new US airline venture, Breeze Airways.

It has started to recruit staff as well as the regulatory process to secure an Airline Operating Certificate in the US. The new airline plans to target new city pairs not served by existing airlines with the promise to be “The world’s nicest airline”.

The airline will initially operate with leased Embraer E195 aircraft but also plans to take delivery of new Airbus A220 aircraft from 2021 onwards.

The US market is of course tough to crack with many passengers wielded to legacy carrier frequent flyer programmes, though it would be foolish to bet against the founder of JetBlue.

David Neeleman was recently the subject of a New York Times profile which gives an indication of what to expect of its service ethos:

“At the time JetBlue hit the market, airlines were at an all-time low for customer service,” he said. “No one believed we could buy brand-new airplanes, give people live TV, put the airline in New York City and I could blow everyone away. But the bigger the gap between what people got and what they expected — that was what created the buzz.”

Also speaking to the New York Times in 2000, David Neeleman said of his grandfather, at whose shop he worked as a child:

He [my grandfather] taught me a lot about customer service, which to me means treating people nicely, taking good care of them, looking them in the eye and saying thank you. I learned to appreciate their business and, if they had a problem, to fix it (and, if I couldn’t, to explain why not). Just let people know that you care about them.

The Marriott Renaissance Opens In Chelsea

Marriott Renaissance Chelsea Rooftop Pool
Marriott Renaissance Chelsea Rooftop Pool (Image Credit: Marriott Hotels)

The Chelsea District of Manhattan has changed beyond recognition over the past 20 years or so.

This is in part due the arrival of Google, the High Line, and the relocation of Whitney Museum Of American Art. In a sign of further change, Marriott has recently opened a new 330 room Renaissance Hotel in a 40 storey tower at 112 West 25th Street.

One of the great pleasures of visiting New York is taking in roof top views of the city. The hotel boasts what it claims to be one of the highest roof top pools in the New York. Though, judging by the size of the pool in the publicity pictures you’d struggle to do many laps in it. (Marriott)

Also of note this week:

The Department Of Homeland Security has blocked New York residents from enrolling in trusted traveller programmes such as Global Entry. New York is no fan of the Trump Administration and the Trump Administration is no fan of New York. This has been seen locally as a retaliation for investigations into President Trump’s finances. (New York Times)

United Airlines is upgrade its new year-round service from London Heathrow to Denver from a Boeing 787-8 to 787-9 aircraft from Saturday 6 June 2020. It has also announced an expansion plan at Denver through the acquisition of additional gates.

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

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