Jet Blue coming to London ?Back to Forum
In a few days time we will have a better idea of Jet Blue’s plans for Europe and whether or not it will make London its initial destination.
The carrier’s CEO Robin Hayes is travelling to London to give a speech at the Aviation Club where he is expected to talk about Jet Blue and its intention or otherwise to serve Europe.
If Jet Blue does start a route or routes from the US East Coast to London it may have to consider landing at Gatwick given the slot situation at Heathrow.
Perhaps that is one reason why Virgin Atlantic/Delta revealed their transatlantic plans from Gatwick so far in advance.7 Apr 2019
I’m traveling a lot from BOS to SFO at the moment. Always fly JetBlue. The “Mint” (first class) is very good, flat bed, sliding doors on some seats, tapas style food and great crew. Only downside is no lounge, but aside from that really good. I’d certainly fly with them across The Pond although LGW is a bit of a turn off.
Would be interested to see what biz class like on JetBlue as currently they only have first and various flavors of economy?7 Apr 2019
Alex I found it weird that Virgin and Delta announced so early that they would start US routes from the US to LGW. Why announce it before you have things like schedules or the flights are available for sale or when they will be available for sale? Part of me wonders if it is just a coincidence that the routes they have named (BOS/JFK-LGW) are the most likely routes JetBlue would also launch.7 Apr 2019
Alex I found it weird that Virgin and Delta announced so early that they would start US routes from the US to LGW. Why announce it before you have things like schedules or the flights are available for sale or when they will be available for sale? Part of me wonders if it is just a coincidence that the routes they have named (BOS/JFK-LGW) are the most likely routes JetBlue would also launch.
I agree. These are competitive routes and therefore any airline would not wish to let its competitors know what it is planning so far in advance.8 Apr 2019
Delta’s and Virgin’s announcement to enter the LGW-JFK and LGW-BOS transatlantic markets next year is definitely a spoiler for Jetblue.
Given the slot situation at LHR, incl. the eye-watering amounts leading airlines are prepared to pay for conveniently timed peak time slots which may well be affordable for established airlines that can attract a substantial premium and whose route development costs are already fully amortised but which a newcomer without an established revenue stream can ill afford, this leaves LGW as the only realistic option for market entry.
So what can Jetblue be expected to do under these circumstances? Knowing full well that a successful market entry at LHR would require at least six commonly timed daily slot pairs at times people actually want to fly and for which they’ll pay a premium – four daily pairs for LHR-JFK and the remaining two daily pairs for LHR-BOS – which are unavailable, the next best option is to do it from LGW instead until a sufficient number of suitable slots become available at LHR. The advantage of testing the market at LGW before expanding into LHR is that fewer slots are needed as the transatlantic market is smaller ex-LGW than ex-LHR, thus reducing exposure and risk in the start-up phase. Four daily slot pairs – two each for LGW-JFK and LGW-BOS – should suffice for Jetblue to nip its toe into the transatlantic market ex-LGW.
So, how could Delta spoil Jetblue’s transatlantic debut at LGW? By matching its frequencies on each route, using fully amortised Boeing 757 narrowbodies in an all-business configuration that matches Jetblue’s popular “Mint” premium product. In this way Delta can ensure that it compensates for Jetblue’s lower cost base by operating older aircraft that will be significantly cheaper to operate than Jetblue’s brand-new Airbus A321 LR narrowbodies while not facing Jetblue’s significant start-up costs as it is already established in the markets Jetblue seeks to enter as a result of its long-established, highly profitable presence there at LHR, which means adding limited additional frequencies serving LGW will be a much lower risk option for Delta compared with Jetblue’s market debut from scratch.8 Apr 2019
We’ll find out today…
It's an interesting time @JetBlue who have a great story to tell. Join us @AvClubUK on 11 April @IoD to hear from CEO Robin Hayes. Tickets can be booked at https://t.co/mf2AWYiW5I. For full details see https://t.co/68rOuGIApX @BTNewsupdate pic.twitter.com/zYCtKKlDU1
— The Aviation Club UK (@AvClubUK) March 11, 201910 Apr 2019
I used to fly JetBlue where I can when living in NYC years ago. Always wished they’d make it over the pond.
Now wouldn’t it be nice if another airline other than BA do the NYC – LCY route? I can hope 🙂10 Apr 2019
Nobody wants JetBlue to succeed in the transatlantic market more than me. As a regular Mint flyer between SEA-JFK and SEA-BOS, I love everything about both the hard and soft product. That said, and as pointed out by others as well –
– Ground experience doesn’t feel “premium” enough:
* Lack of lounge can be a huge issue (it’s a blocker for me in Seattle), but in EU, they may tag on to some of their partners like QR and EK and use their lounges?
* I’ve noticed in cities outside their 2 hubs (JFK and BOS), they don’t get the most “premium” gates at the airport. It’s usually a walk away, sometimes in a terminal or section of terminal that looks worse for wear, etc.
* Check-in desks and ground staff are few in number: We have exactly 3 in SEA-TAC, with about 2 staff members. Last month, I was waiting for over 10 mins (I was first in the queue) at the Mint Class check-in because the agent manning the Mint Class desk was helping a newbie (manning the Economy) on some IT issue
– LGW may not be the best choice if the focus is on the premium market.
– Frequency: can they offer the same kind that skyteam or Oneword offer to the EU
– No matter how competitive the rates are, the long haul “full service” carriers will ensure they come up with something to entice their customer base back (hell, look how they’re killing the LCCs)
– Connecting traffic: They need to build an EU, UK and Middle East partner for connecting traffic. And an internal US one too. Right now, even within the US, I don’t know that they have enough destinations where they fly their own metal to constitute healthy connecting traffic to the UK.
Also, I love the Mint Class because subconsciously, I compare it to other domestic Biz classes and so, this one seems amazing. But if I were to compare it to the long hauls, esp with the new Biz class seat offerings (yes, I know not all aircraft will be retrofitted, or retrofitted immediately), I could easily be enticed back to a BA or a VS if they throw in some other benefits a full service alliance member can provide (for instance, an Arrivals Lounge, or lounge access of any alliance member, etc.)10 Apr 2019
I wonder why you find Gatwick to be somewhat of a turnoff? Personally, I find Gatwick much more convenient than Heathrow: going through customs is faster, connections are generally much easier (only two terminals to deal with), getting to the train to Victoria Station is generally a short walk and the train trip to downtown London is cheaper than going from Heathrow (sitting forever in a taxi is out of the question for me). Finally, Gatwick has a an in-terminal hotel (Hilton) which is incredibly convenient when arriving late in the day in London (I will use it next month after my JFK-GTW flight landing at 11:30 pm).
1 user thanked author for this post.10 Apr 2019
GrahamCParticipant11 Apr 2019
Ground experience doesn’t feel “premium” enough:
* Lack of lounge can be a huge issue
Given that JetBlue’s price point for business class (Mint) is so much lower than conventional airlines surely something has to give? You can’t expect the same quality of experience if you are paying so much less?11 Apr 2019
The best thing about Jet Blue in the US is that you can watch live television. As a sports fan I really enjoy being able to watch the games live. I’m not sure they’ll be able to offer this flying to/from London but, if they do, I’ll be booking with them.11 Apr 2019
The best thing about Jet Blue in the US is that you can watch live television. As a sports fan I really enjoy being able to watch the games live. I’m not sure they’ll be able to offer this flying to/from London but, if they do, I’ll be booking with them.
I miss Virgin America11 Apr 2019
I wish them all the best and I think they will be successful.
A lot of parallels will be made between JetBlue and other new entrant airlines that have failed completely due to their launch of longhaul transatlantic flights. WOW, Primera, EOS, Maxjet, Silverjet, People Express, Laker.
Firstly, most of these airlines operated their flights with a not very economical fleet. The A321LR will be a game changer.
Secondly, JetBlue is already hugely established in the USA and is seen to be an innovator with generally high service levels and loyalty.
Thirdly it’s a hybrid carrier. Most of the previous failures fall in either the ‘all low cost’ or ‘all premium’ category. JetBlue will be able to appeal to both the loco customer and the business customer.
They have a very broad domestic network in the USA and can provide feed to their own flights on the US side and will probably come to an agreement with an airline the UK side to do the same (Easyjet?).
And finally….even if the London routes do end up being a financial disaster for the airline overall. It’s in a very good financial position and its UK flights would only represent a tiny proportion of its overall route network. They can simply withdraw and redeploy those A321LR’s on long domestic routes.11 Apr 2019