JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) – New York’s Hometown Airline® – today announced it has officially entered the transatlantic market with new, nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR). The first customer-carrying JetBlue flight between the U.S. and the U.K. touched down at Heathrow just before 10 o’clock this morning, local time. The highly anticipated milestone – aimed at shaking up the transatlantic market with the airline’s award-winning service and attractive fares – marks the first time JetBlue has served a destination beyond the 100+ cities it flies to throughout the Americas. With new service in the United Kingdom, JetBlue now operates in 26 countries.
JetBlue's inaugural flight from New York-JFK to London Heathrow Airport arrives in the U.K. on August 12, 2021, marking the first-ever transatlantic service by the U.S.-based travel company.
“For the first time in JetBlue’s 21-year history we are crossing the North Atlantic and competing in one of the busiest travel markets in the world, well-positioned to introduce our award-winning service and low fares to a new global audience that is ready for a fresh choice in transatlantic flying,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “With JetBlue now connecting New York and London, travelers finally have the ability to enjoy low fares while also experiencing superior service. As the U.K. opens to travelers coming from America, our flights are well timed to meet the pent up demand for travel between our two countries. We look forward to welcoming U.K. travelers to the U.S. soon and launching service between Boston and London next year.”
“I want to congratulate JetBlue on its inaugural transatlantic flight to London and wish all the crew and customers a safe and pleasant journey,” said Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. “As vaccinated Americans can now come to the U.K. without the need to quarantine, this route will offer more Americans a path to doing business, holidays and family reunions in the U.K. Today's flight quite literally takes our Special Relationship to new heights!”
“The JetBlue route launch between New York and London is not only a most welcomed service to build on the transatlantic market, but the additional accessibility between the two destinations will be an essential player in reigniting international travel,” said Paul Gauger, senior vice president, The Americas, VisitBritain. “It is no surprise that there is a huge appetite from Americans to return to Britain, and with the recent announcement regarding the quarantine lift for double vaccinated Americans, we are ready to safely welcome them back to experience the bustling city of London and beyond, from our picturesque villages, breath-taking countryside and captivating coasts.”
Schedule between New York (JFK) and London Heathrow (LHR)
JetBlue’s presence at London Heathrow Airport gives the U.S.-based travel company visibility at an iconic global hub to build a new base of travelers in the U.K. and beyond. JetBlue will operate from Heathrow’s newest terminal – Terminal 2 – which offers travelers a modern airport experience with access to dozens of shops and restaurants. Heathrow travelers benefit from a variety of convenient ground transportation options including the Heathrow Express and London Underground, which offer rail connections with Central London.
“JetBlue demonstrates the benefits of greater choice, more competition between airlines and lower fares that spare capacity at Heathrow can deliver for passengers, and it’s fantastic to see the airline’s first European flight touch down today,” said John Holland-Kaye, chief executive officer, Heathrow Airport. “The top-quality service and competitive prices JetBlue offers passengers will be game-changing for the transatlantic market. The U.K. took the first step to welcome back fully vaccinated US visitors last week, and we hope these new services and Britain’s world-leading vaccination programme will encourage the U.S. Government to do the same in the weeks ahead.”
Flights between New York-JFK and Heathrow operate daily in August and four times weekly in September on JetBlue’s new Airbus A321 Long Range (LR) aircraft with 24 redesigned Mint suites, 114 core seats and the sleek and spacious Airspace cabin interior.
JetBlue – the sixth largest airline in the U.S. – is known for having the most legroom in coach (a), live television and on-demand entertainment on every seatback, free and fast Fly-Fi broadband internet (b), complimentary snacks and soft drinks and great customer service. JetBlue’s entrance into the transatlantic market introduces a new era of customer-focused, low-fare travel for leisure and business travelers.
The airline’s Mint premium experience – which first raised the bar on transcontinental travel in the U.S. and has been completely reimagined for transatlantic flying – promises to offer customers a fresh choice when flying between the U.S. and the U.K. JetBlue Mint features 24 fully lie-flat private suites with a sliding door – including two Mint Studios™ – and a custom-designed seat cushion developed by innovative mattress company Tuft & Needle. Its proprietary T&N Adaptive® foam with a breathable cover creates a cool and comfortable sleep experience unlike anything in the sky. Mint also boasts countless intuitive design touches that help every customer feel at home in the air. JetBlue is also introducing its latest innovation – the stunning Mint Studio – offering even more space in a premium experience.
JetBlue’s industry-leading core experience has also been reinvented for crossing the pond and offers a new level of service to customers who generally fly “coach” but still want a great experience at an attractive fare. With just 114 core seats – including 24 Even More® Space Seats – customers enjoy a boutique-style experience no matter where they sit. All of the comforts JetBlue customers have come to expect is enhanced by the recently announced partnership with New York-based restaurant group Dig to bring its signature build-your-own dining concept to tray tables at 35,000 feet – JetBlue’s first complimentary meal in core. Core customers also enjoy a free selection of soft drinks, coffee, tea, beer, wine and liquor. The A321LR features new extra-large overhead bins, and all customers regardless of fare type may bring one carry on, space permitting, and one personal item.
Customers in both core and Mint stay connected throughout the flight, with JetBlue being the only airline to offer unlimited, free high-speed wi-fi on all transatlantic flights. Additionally, customers have access to a curated selection of live TV channels – focused on news and sports – and an extensive library of seatback entertainment, allowing customers to have a multiple screen experience onboard – just like they do at home.
The A321LR platform – offering the range of a wide-body but with the economics of a single-aisle aircraft – allows JetBlue to effectively compete, with award-winning service and low fares on flights between the U.S. and London. JetBlue converted 13 aircraft in its existing A321 order book to the LR version in April 2019 with the ability to convert more. Additionally, JetBlue has converted another 13 aircraft in its existing order book to the Extra-Long Range – or XLR – version of the A321.
“As we come out of the pandemic and the international market recovers, the A321LR will position JetBlue to offer long-haul international travel at the highest level of customer service and at the lowest cost and risk, said C. Jeffrey Knittel, chairman and chief executive officer, Airbus Americas. “We are proud to partner with JetBlue and congratulate them on their vision, consistent ingenuity and careful attention to detail in delivering an enhanced transatlantic customer experience that is truly world-class.”
The A321LR allows JetBlue to tap into new long-haul markets, like London, that were not previously accessible with the airline’s existing fleet. The LR’s range of up to 4,000 nautical miles is made possible by three additional center fuel tanks and the aircraft delivers 30 percent fuel savings and nearly 50 percent reduction in noise footprint compared to previous generations of aircraft. JetBlue is also the global launch partner for the new Airspace by Airbus cabin, bringing long-haul style to the A321 for the first time ever.
JetBlue’s A321LR is powered by two Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. The GTF engine, with its revolutionary geared fan technology, is transforming aviation by delivering game-changing economic and environmental performance. The Pratt & Whitney GTF engine also incorporates advances in aerodynamics, lightweight materials and other major technology improvements.
“Today we celebrate another exciting and historical milestone between Pratt & Whitney, JetBlue and Airbus,” said Rick Deurloo, chief commercial officer and senior vice president, Pratt & Whitney. “The GTF-powered Airbus A321LR aircraft has allowed JetBlue to open the airline's first transatlantic route with a modern, single-aisle aircraft, while delivering economic and environmental value for the company. We’re honored to be a part of this momentous milestone and we look forward to supporting JetBlue’s route expansion and their commitment to sustainable aviation.”
JetBlue is committed to finding sustainable solutions that protect the beauty and vitality of the places it serves. Optimizing fuel burn is an important part of JetBlue’s sustainability strategy, and prioritizing fuel-efficient aircraft, engines, and flying procedures aligns with JetBlue’s approach to reducing emissions. In 2020, JetBlue became the first major U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all domestic flights, and has since announced its commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
For the launch of U.K. service, JetBlue proudly announces it is proactively offsetting the CO2 emissions from all JetBlue flights to and from London throughout 2021. JetBlue is partnering with long-time partner Carbonfund.org Foundation, a leading US-based nonprofit climate solutions organization, purchasing high-quality and third-party verified carbon offsets that support the Envira Amazonia Tropical Rainforest Conservation Project. JetBlue recognizes that offsets are a meaningful yet short-term solution while the industry builds up lower carbon solutions. The airline is also investing in solutions to reduce direct emissions from operations, including sustainable aviation fuel, which is already being used by JetBlue at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San FranciscoInternational Airport (SFO).
JetBlue is partnering with two London-based non-profit organizations – Inspire! and FareShare – as part of JetBlue For Good, the airline’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility.
Inspire! is a local education charity working in the London boroughs of Hackney, Camden, Islington and beyond. Their mission is to improve young people’s access to the world of work, raise achievement levels and enhance their future career prospects and lives. Through their World of Work (WOW!) program, JetBlue crewmembers will have the opportunity to volunteer and share their career journeys and insight into the field of aviation. FareShare is the UK’s longest running food redistribution charity. In 2020, the organization supported 10,542 charities and community groups. As a result, more than 1.1 million people had access to food.
Giving back is part of JetBlue’s DNA and is core to its mission of inspiring humanity. JetBlue For Good focuses on the areas that are most important to the airline’s customers and crewmembers – community, youth/education and the environment. JetBlue makes its entrance into new communities known starting on day one. After all these communities are not only where its crewmembers work – they live here too. JetBlue is committed to creating a brighter, more just world that we are all eager, able and empowered to explore.
JetBlue remains on track to add additional service between the U.S. and the U.K. with flights between New York-JFK and London Gatwick Airport (LGW) starting September 29, 2021. The airline will deliver on its commitment to serve multiple London airports and give customers convenient options – with attractive premium and leisure fares – across the greater London metropolitan area no matter which airport they prefer. JetBlue will be the only carrier to offer service to the U.S. at Gatwick – the U.K.’s second busiest airport – creating another important presence in London where it can grow an even larger base of travelers.
London service from Boston, where JetBlue is the leading airline, is planned to start in summer 2022.