In one of the most widely trailed route launches, JetBlue has finally confirmed its plans to launch its first transatlantic routes to New York JFK.
JetBlue will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 2 to New York JFK Terminal 5 daily from Thursday 12 August 2021.
Flights from London Gatwick (North Terminal) to New York JFK will follow on Thursday 30 September 2021.
JetBlue also plans to launch flights from London to Boston in the summer of 2022.
These routes will be operated with Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft. JetBlue has 13 of these aircraft on order with 3 to be delivered this year and a further 3 in 2022. In 2019, JetBlue also ordered 13 Airbus A321 XLR aircraft intended for routes to mainland Europe, originally due for delivery from 2023.
Mint Business Class
The aircraft will feature JetBlue’s latest “Mint” business class cabin featuring 24 Mint Suites and 2 larger Mint Studios in the front row of the aircraft.
The Mint Suite features a fully flat bed in a herringbone configuration and a sliding door for complete privacy. Passengers also benefit from a 17″ TV screen, a side table, stowage for laptops, shoes and small bags. The Mint Studio features a larger bed, TV screen and an additional side table.
JetBlue has not yet confirmed what departure and arrivals lounge facilities will be in place for passengers in London and New York JFK.
Core Economy Class
The economy cabin, dubbed “core”, features 117 seats in a 3 – 3 configuration. JetBlue promises a 32″ seat pitch and 18.4″ seat width.
This includes four rows of extra leg room seats. All food and drink is complimentary in economy with the option to “build your own meal” by ordering through your seat back TV screen.
Note there are three categories of economy fare (Blue Basic, Blue, and Blue Extra). Blue Basic fares do not include a free checked bag, nor advance seat selection.
All passengers will benefit from complimentary unlimited high speed WiFi. The in flight entertainment system will also include live TV – due to rights issues this is likely to be limited to global news channels.
What are JetBlue’s prospects of success?
Whilst JetBlue has made much of its intention to shake up the transatlantic market, operating long haul flights for the first time with a relatively small sub fleet of aircraft will not be without its difficulties.
Should JetBlue have issues with aircraft reliability, without sufficient backup arrangements in place, this could have a considerable repetutional impact.
It has to be said that the timing of the Heathrow flights are not particularly competitive with a late departure to New York and long aircraft downtime at Heathrow. There is also uncertainty as to whether JetBlue can secure permanent slots at Heathrow.
JetBlue’s move has already prompted a competitive response from US airlines. United has obtained remedy slots from BA to launch London Heathrow – Boston. If history is anything to go by, further competitive activity from US airlines are likely.
Full details on JetBlue’s plans for transatlantic services from London are available at JetBlue.com
As ever, in the current climate, flight schedules are subject to change at very short notice and passengers must ensure they comply with all pre departure and arrival requirements.
London Heathrow – New York JFK
Flight B6 20 Depart London Heathrow 18:10 – Arrive New York JFK 21:35
Flight B6 7 Depart New York JFK 21:48 – Arrive London Heathrow 10:10
London Gatwick – New York JFK
Flight B6 44 Depart London Gatwick 12:10 – Arrive New York JFK 15:43
Flight B6 43 Depart New York JFK 19:48 – Arrive London Gatwick 07:55