JetBlue Finally Reveal Their Plans For London

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JetBlue have finally revealed their plans for London, from their hometown of New York JFK. After many years of rumours, plans, announcements and everything else.

After initially being thought to operate flights from Stansted airport, which is probably the furthest London airport from London, it has been confirmed that the airline will serve both Heathrow and Gatwick. Flights have now gone on sale, and as promised, they are very reasonably priced.

Flights in their ‘Mint’ business class can be had for under £1000 on selected dates, at least initially.

JetBlue Mint Studio
JetBlue Mint Studio
JetBlue Mint Catering
JetBlue Mint catering

Flights in economy can be had for a price more comparable to the likes of Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.

For an additional charge, JetBlue will offer 7 rows of Even More Space seats at the front of the cabin. These shouldn’t be seen as a premium economy product however. They are still the standard economy seat, with a few inches extra legroom.

JetBlue A321LR

Flights from New York to Heathrow Terminal 2 will start on 11th August 2021. The JetBlue service from New York JFK to Gatwick’s North Terminal will commence around 6 weeks later on 29th September.

JetBlue London Flight Times

Depart LHR: 18:10Arrive JFK: 21:43
Depart JFK: 22:10Arrive LHR: 10:10 (+1)
Depart LGW: 12:00Arrive JFK: 15:33
Depart JFK: 19:50Arrive LGW: 07:55 (+1)

The flights will be operated by the Airbus A321LR narrow body aircraft. The first A321LR was delivered to the airline fairly recently, at the end of April 2021. Whilst the Airbus A321 has traditionally been a short haul aircraft, it has evolved over the years into an aircraft that can be used on longer, thinner routes. Which will be perfect for the next few years, post covid. The aircraft will be fitted with 144 seats.

JetBlue A321LR

Are JetBlue Any Good?

Those based in the UK may not be overly familiar with the JetBlue brand. Founded in the year 2000, they have grown into a major player in the US. Unlike the major US airlines, JetBlue offers far superior in flight entertainment options compared to the likes of American, United and Delta. This includes live TV, a selection of movies and free WiFi for all passengers.

Whilst the catering options on the US domestic flights are a little more basic, this won’t be the case on their flights to London. The airline will serve complimentary food and drinks to all passengers on board.

I flew with JetBlue between Long Beach and Oakland back in 2018. I was very impressed with the short flight, and won’t hesitate to fly them again.

JetBlue Core Catering
JetBlue Core Catering
JetBlue Pantry

Can Anyone Actually Take These Flights In August?

Who knows! Whilst travel between the UK and the USA is currently not an option for most, a lot can happen in the mean time. There have been a lot of rumours about a travel corridor between the two countries of late, so hopefully this will be in place by that point.

My Thoughts

It will be good to have some competition on the London – New York route. Especially since Norwegian cut back. And with the low prices that JetBlue are offering initially, they stand to fill the hole left by Norwegian. The issue being however, is that it’s a short haul, low cost carrier attempting long haul. Which is identical to the model that Norwegian used. The main difference however, is that JetBlue are starting small. With just a single daily flight to each of the London Airports, and more than a decent amount of turn around time between the flights in London, this should hopefully absorb any delays. Which was the main downfall of the Norwegian operation. They simply didn’t have any slack in the operation to make up any delays. Of which there were many.

One thing that will be interesting to see is how the airline fares at Heathrow. I strongly suspect that they will focus their operation on Gatwick in the future. They have already announced that their future Boston route will operate to Gatwick. JetBlue clearly have the slots at Heathrow, but going forward, will they be able to acquire any more? If the airline is a success and is able to operate a number of flights from Gatwick to the USA, it wouldn’t make financial sense to keep one token route at Heathrow. Pre-Covid, slots at Heathrow were like gold-dust. If this is to be the case going forward, then they could be sold on for a healthy profit, and focus on a larger international hub at Gatwick.

Images © JetBlue

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