Qatar Airways is to lease a daily slot pair at London Heathrow to JetBlue for the summer 2022 season.
JetBlue is currently flying from London Heathrow to New York JFK. This flight launched late last year.
It is not clear whether this slot trade is to cover its existing daily flight – where there has been no previously published slot trade – or to allow for an additional frequency at Heathrow.
The published form refers to the New York JFK route, but the neither the flight numbers (B62998 and B62999) nor arrival and departure times are used by JetBlue at Heathrow.
JetBlue has long made clear its desire to expand its transatlantic operations at Heathrow. It is largely stymied by the lack of permanent slots. The airline is also due to announce a route to Boston later this year.
Heathrow Slot Trades
It is common for airlines to lease slots to each other before the start of the travel season.
This is particularly so for the forthcoming summer season where airlines will not benefit from a relaxation of “use it or lose it” slot rules.
Other confirmed slot trades at Heathrow for the summer 2022 season in recent days include:
1 daily slot pair from American Airlines to British Airways
1 daily slot pair from Etihad to British Airways
54 weekly slots from Etihad to ITA Airways
1 daily slot pair from Oman Air to Qatar Airways
1 daily slot pair from Qatar Airways to British Airways
BA has also gained a daily slot pair from Philippine Airlines.
Given BA has had well publicised staffing problems at Heathrow in recent weeks, it remains to be seen how the airline will manage to meet its planned flight schedule over the summer.