JetBlue announced this week that it will debut its first transatlantic routes in 2021. Flights will depart from New York and Boston with their first destination London. But the airline plans to expand its European destinations within reach of its aircraft.
Speaking of them, to be able to fly over the Atlantic Ocean, JetBlue decided to convert 13 A321neo aircraft to the A321LR version, which offers range to connect the northeastern United States to the part of Europe.
The new aircraft will be equipped with the “Mint” business class with 16 lie-flat seats, four of which can be transformed into mini-suites.
“Twenty years ago, our founders had a simple formula for choosing a new market – it had to be overpriced, underserved, or both,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer of JetBlue. “London is the largest metro area JetBlue does not yet serve from both Boston and New York, and we could not be more thrilled to be changing that in the years ahead,” she added.
JetBlue, however, has not yet revealed which London airport it will operate. The company says it is negotiating with operators to close a deal.
Although it did not need a date to start the service, JetBlue must take at least one year to obtain the FAA’s ETOPS certification, which allows it to fly with the A321LR over the Atlantic.
With JetBlue flights, Boston will have five airlines offering flights to London – British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines fly to Heathrow and are expected to join Cirium soon. Norwegian Air makes the Boston-Gatwick route.
London, by its turn, now has six airlines linking it to New York. British Airways (Heathrow-JFK, Heathrow-Newark, London City-JFK, Gatwick-JFK), Virgin Atlantic (Heathrow-JFK and Heathrow-Newark), Delta and American (JFK-Heathrow), United (Newark-Heathrow) and Norwegian Air (Gatwick-JFK).