Jet Blue coming to London ?

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  • BackOfThePlane

    I too wish them well but, unlike @rferguson, I don’t think they will succeed.

    Of course, this does partly depend on how we define ‘succeed’ – do we mean become a major player across the Atlantic or just turn a profit? And, if it’s just about turning a profit, might that aircraft / crew be more profitably utilised on an alternative route.

    As other posters have already said, they’re going to struggle to get any slots at Heathrow and, even if they get a couple, will that be sufficient to compete with the muliple flights offered every day by BA/AA & VS/DL – no, it won’t.

    If they can’t get the slots at Heathrow, Gatwick is also close to full, especially at peak times, so they won’t be able to just waltz in and pick whatever times they want. Furthermore, even if they do pick up two or even three slots a day, they will lose a big chunk of the corporate business market just because it’s not Heathrow. They will then find that BA (who have plenty of slots at Gatwick that they can play with) will position one of their 777s (yes, the 3-4-3 ones) to fly at pretty much the same time….with sizeable inducements to do so. And that’s not even taking into account VS / DL (and their recent decision to start Gatwick flights to New York & Boston in 2020), not to mention Norwegian.

    Jet Blue may be a great airline, and the A321LR is clearly very economical, but life isn’t fair and BA, VS etc will do everything they can to make it as unfair as possible.

    However, as @rferguson correctly points out, if things don’t work out for Jet Blue, it’s no big deal, they can use the same aircraft to fly somewhere where they can make an honest buck.

    Good luck to them.


    If they can’t get the slots at Heathrow, Gatwick is also close to full, especially at peak times, so they won’t be able to just waltz in and pick whatever times they want.

    Thanks for the analysis, BackOfThePlane.

    I agree with you regarding LGW and LHR. But then Jet Blue will not be arriving in London for another two years and anything can happen in that time.

    Luton and Stansted would surely roll out the red carpet but would Jet Blue wish to operate from them ?


    Luton, no, people wouldn’t stop laughing and their credibility would be shot.
    Stansted, perhaps, but it would invite unhelpful comparisons with numerous past failures and perception matters.

    With the A321-LR being such an economical aircraft, perhaps they would be better off flying between New York and Manchester (or Edinburgh) where they would have a more compelling appeal?


    Luton, no, people wouldn’t stop laughing and their credibility would be shot.

    And transatlantic carriers have tried LTN in the past and failed.

    Earlier I mentioned that two years is a long time in aviation …

    If Jet Airways fails to restart there will be some Heathrow slots available.

    Who will take them over ?

    Yes I know some/all are actually owned by Etihad. But will Etihad need all of them ?

    One or two slot times would suit a transatlantic carrier.

    But could Jet Blue afford the price ?

    As we reported some years ago Kenya Airways sold its peak slot to Oman Air for US$75 million.


    I think they will be one of the strongest carriers to enter the market, as they will already have millions of potential customers in the US signed up for email marketing and who already very loyal to Jet Blue. I don’t doubt they can sell there seats at decent yields and would anticipate to start with planes would have more US customers that a typical TATL flight.

    Gatwick I don’t think will be an issue at all. It is more convenient to most of Central London (though Crossrail will change attractiveness of LHR from 2020) but LGW into London has far more trains and the Thameslink options to get to the North. For anyone south of the Thames LGW is a no brainer. The investment into LGW over the last few years as made it a very good airport (and yes I’m biased – I’m in Brighton – but everyone seems biased towards their local airport). It isn’t the “hole” it once was.

    Depending on how Norwegian’s situation unfolds, if they stay alive and are still in place come 2021 I could even see a Jet Blue / Norwegian partnership with connections onto each other networks. Would make both propositions much stronger. The issue with Jet Blue and Easyjet is more around the reservation systems Easyjet use and GDS integration are far more apart then would be required to make this work. Jet Blue are on GDS (can only be issued by US agents at the moment) and I’d expect them to open this up to international TMC’s / Travel Agents very shortly. It is then easier for Jet Blue to set up ticketing partnerships with the likes of Norwegian or other carriers who also use the GDS systems (development of NDC will probably not deliver what they need to the degree required).

    So yes – brand strength in Europe to the non-travel industry / airline geek is going to be very low. But on the US side they are already firmly established. Compared to Norwegian who still had poor brand recognition in the UK when they launched long haul to the US and poor band awareness in the US.

    I hope they succeed – assuming it does happen at all.

Viewing 5 posts - 16 through 20 (of 20 total)
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