<p>London bound: JetBlue aircraft at New York JFK</p>

London bound: JetBlue aircraft at New York JFK

JetBlue gives green light to transatlantic flights from Heathrow and Gatwick

‘Customers will enjoy a boutique-style experience no matter where they sit,’ the US airline promises

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 19 May 2021 17:12

After months of speculation about which London airport would host flights to New York on JetBlue, the airline has finally revealed it will depart from both Heathrow and Gatwick.

The long-promised transatlantic services will start from Heathrow Terminal 2 to New York JFK on 12 August, with flights from Gatwick following on 30 September.

At present all travel by non-Americans from the UK to the US is banned, but this is expected to change soon.

The new links will be aboard Airbus A321 aircraft, rather than the wide-bodied jets used by the competition: American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, United and Virgin Atlantic. They will offer a 32-inch “seat pitch,” an inch more than most of the competition.

“Customers will enjoy a boutique-style experience no matter where they sit,” the airline claims.

Robin Hayes, chief executive of JetBlue, said: “The pandemic has opened doors to London’s two busiest airports, and we look forward to bringing customers low fares and great service at both Heathrow and Gatwick.” He said that the Heathrow-New York JFK route “has long suffered from outrageously high fares, especially in premium cabins”.

A return trip from London to New York on the first flight, 12 August, coming back a week later, is currently priced at £330 in basic economy.

The cheapest British Airways return on the same dates is £608 – but BA offers a far wider range of flights.

JetBlue says the business class offering will be “a reimagined version of Mint”, its successful domestic US premium offering.

The airline says: “Transatlantic Mint product features and design elements, combined with JetBlue’s specially trained Mint inflight crewmembers, will create an intimate and exclusive travel experience.

“And like its transcontinental Mint business model, JetBlue will offer the elevated flying experience for a fraction of what other airlines are charging today for premium seats.”

In business class, JetBlue is charging £2,400 for its cheapest return. British Airways’ lowest fare is £3,364.

The airline schedule analyst, Sean Moulton, said: “London airports are notoriously difficult to get slots into and going into two separate London airports allows the optimal timings for connections in New York.

“Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian have both ended their long haul operations from Gatwick whilst British Airways has also ended its Gatwick-New York flights.

“So JetBlue will be the sole airline on the route. Serving these two markets therefore would allow JetBlue to assess yield and volume of the routes before deciding which airport is the best bet to add additional flights for 2022 and beyond.”

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