Low-cost airline JetBlue (JBLU) delayed the launch of its flights between Boston and London, citing aircraft delivery delays, but said it is committed to starting the flights over the key summer period.
The US carrier, which is hoping to bring more competition on the transatlantic routes, now plans to start flights between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and London Gatwick (LGW) on August 4, 2022, while flights between BOS and London Heathrow (LHR) will begin on September 20, 2022. The airline had initially planned to start the BOS routes on July 19 and August 22.
JetBlue (JBLU) said the postponement was down to unexpected production delays at Airbus, which makes the A321LR aircraft it needs for the longer transatlantic routes from BOS. Customers will be offered to switch to flights from New York or offered refunds.
“Two aircraft scheduled for delivery this summer – which offer greater range than standard A321 aircraft in JetBlue’s (JBLU) fleet – are on order specifically to operate transatlantic routes from Boston, and JetBlue (JBLU) was recently notified by Airbus that their delivery will be delayed,” the US carrier said.
JetBlue (JBLU) started low-cost flights between New York JFK and LHR in August 2021, followed by services between JFK and LGW, thus bringing more competition to a market that has been traditionally dominated by legacy airlines such as British Airways, Delta and American Airlines (A1G) (AAL).
In 2022, more low-cost carriers have started offering transatlantic routes. New Icelandic operator PLAY has started flights between the United States and Europe using its base in Reykjavik as a stepping stone to cross the pond. It has already started offering services from BOS using A321neo aircraft.
Meanwhile, after delaying its launch, Norse Atlantic said it will start JFK-LGW flights in August 2022 using Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
JetBlue (JBLU) intends to operate daily from Boston to both LGW and LHR. Its Airbus A321LR aircraft will offer 24 Mint suites, plus 114 economy seats. The airline said London is among the most requested destinations from its customers in Boston.
JetBlue (JBLU) is also currently involved in a takeover battle for US ultra-low-cost-carrier Spirit Airlines (S64) (SAVE), which has rejected JetBlue’s (JBLU) acquisition attempts in favor of a tie-up with fellow ultra-low–cost-carrier Frontier.