After months of speculation, JetBlue announced it will “split the baby” and launch transatlantic service to both London Heathrow and Gatwick later this year.
JetBlue Will Serve Both Heathrow And Gatwick In London
Joanna Geraghty, President and COO of JetBlue, noted:
“We decided our best path into London wasn’t choosing between the two largest airports in the U.K…it’s choosing both of them. We’re looking at London in the same way we successfully serve major metro areas across the U.S. via multiple airports – places like New York, L.A. and South Florida.”
While the analogy is interesting, CEO Robin Hayes clarified:
“We received permanent slots at Gatwick that we just can’t pass up and in Heathrow we have temporary allocations. Heathrow’s slots are the highest in demand globally. Free Heathrow slots is a historic opportunity from the pandemic that we hope will become permanent.”
My take is that JetBlue took the Gatwick slots as an insurance policy in case the Heathrow slots do not become permanent. However, should Heathrow slots become permanent I would expect JetBlue to eventually concentrate operations in LHR.
JetBlue London Heathrow Flight Schedule
JetBlue will launch daily flights between New York (JFK) and London Heathrow (LHR) on August 11, 2021 according to the following schedule:
B6 flight 07 dep JFK 10:09PM arr LHR 10:10AM+1
B6 flight 20 dep LHR 6:10PM arr JFK 9:35PM
JetBlue will utilize its new Airbus A321LR on the route, featuring:
- 24 business class seats
- 114 economy class seats
- includes 24 Even More Space seats
JetBlue London Gatwick Flight Schedule
JetBlue will launch daily flights between JFK and London Gatwick (LGW) on September 30, 2021 according to the following schedule:
B6 flight 43 dep JFK 7:48PM arr LGW 7:55AM+1
B6 flight 44 dep LGW 12:10PM arr JFK 3:43PM
JetBlue will utilize the same Airbus A321LR on the route.
What Is JetBlue London Pricing Like?
Fare are competitive, though not extraordinary on the new London routes. Round-trip fares from New York to London start at $599 round-trip in economy class and $1,979 in business class. Originating in London, return fares start at £288 (~$410) in economy and £950 (~$1,345) in business class.
However, there are two things to note. First, some city pairs often even cheaper pricing. For example, a round-trip from London to Fort Lauderdale is £282 (~$399) while Mint business class is £842 (~$1,192).
Departing San Juan, PR is even cheaper, with round-trip Mint fares pricing at under $800.
Secondly, JetBlue is not offering attractive one-way pricing at this time, which I was most hoping for. While prices are still reasonable compared to legacy carriers, one-way prices are not half the round-trip fare or even approximate the breakdown you see when purchasing a one-way ticket.
Currently, the Mint Suite is a $129 upcharge. Expect that price to rise since JetBlue charges more for the Mint Suite just between Los Angeles and New York.
JetBlue Boston Service Delayed Until 2022
Due to the pandemic, border closures, and current lack of business demand between London and the USA, JetBlue will delay the launch of its Boston – London service until 2022.
After two years of waiting, JetBlue has finally published its London schedule. As it seeks to gain permanent London Heathrow slots, JetBlue will serve both Heathrow and Gatwick. One-fares are not cheap (diminishing JetBlue’s ability to truly disrupt the market), but round-trip fares are still extremely competitive and may well drop further in the months ahead as other airlines match JetBlue’s introductory pricing.
What do you think of JetBlue’s plan to “split the baby” and fly to both London Gatwick and Heathrow?