JetBlue hasn’t even been in London for a year, but the nimble airline has already made quite a splash. First, it was the unveiling of new dining concepts for economy with food that might actually be worth eating. Then, the airline showcased its new ‘Mint’ business class, which brings an incredibly fresh approach to the scene.
And now, JetBlue is making serious waves by securing more coveted slots at London Heathrow. In a fierce competition, the airline came out victors and will soon be able to launch Boston flights from their new transatlantic home base in London.
It’s great news for passengers, potentially not such great news for competitors and with a summer of revenge travel ahead, there’s a lot to unpack!
JetBlue Secures Heathrow – Boston Slots
JetBlue now holds a total of 426 slots in London, spread across both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. The new Gatwick slots are enough to operate a new Boston service, and regulatory filings suggest that may begin from July 19th.
With all Covid-19 restrictions dropped in the UK, including the removal of all tests, forms and proof of vaccination to enter the country, travel has picked up recently at a fever pitch. Maybe a poor choice of words?
Anyway, travel is hot right now, people are flying again, businesses are putting people back in the air and Boston has been an underserved London market. JetBlue made an instant splash on flights between London and New York, introducing competitive fares in every cabin and now all indications suggest it will fix its sights on Boston.
Business class between London and New York has steadily been as low as £1200 on JetBlue round trip, which once was nothing to marvel at, but now certainly is. Airlines are trying to capitalize on demand and lost time with aggressive fares, but JetBlue has kept prices in check as the upstart in the city.
And that’s always been the plan. JetBlue entered the London market with the thesis that “lazy” incumbents were charging exorbitant premiums for shrinking service levels and there was still money to be made at lower levels.
With agreements for onward flights on air partners, JetBlue will be able to offer one stops to many key European cities as well, particularly the lucrative Boston to Ireland market.
Great News For Passengers
An upstart in any market is always going to shake things up. JetBlue’s dining concept for economy and business class became an instant hit when flights launched between New York and London. The low fares always help, too.
With JetBlue overwhelmingly expected to add service between Boston and London Gatwick this summer, a much needed ice bath for these record hot fares may be on the way. It may be just the price break people need.
Of course, new flights bring new schedule choices too, with more opportunity to travel when desired. JetBlue hasn’t officially said anything yet, but this new slot allocation is a huge step, as is the indication in the filings that a service will start circa July 19th.
London calling, Boston?