JetBlue’s transatlantic ops are still on track: perfect timing?
A lot of companies had ambitious plans for the short-term future. While many have been derailed since, JetBlue (JBLU)’s plans to enter the transatlantic appear to be still on track. Despite postponing the launch to late-2021, the New York-based airline hinted at the livery its first Airbus A321LR will wear.
Deployed to operate longer routes, JetBlue (JBLU)’s first A321LR is due to arrive in 2021. The airline has sought to limit its capital expenditures, which directly affected its delivery schedule. Instead of 15 new aircraft throughout 2020, the airline will now take in only 8. In 2021, instead of the planned 23 Airbus-built jets, 17 would join JetBlue (JBLU)’s fleet, including five A321LRs. All in all, the company agreed with Airbus to defer several aircraft deliveries, as indicated in its Q2 2020 United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) financial results filing. As a result, its capital expenditures will be reduced by $1.1 billion through 2020.
Nevertheless, JetBlue (JBLU) could still see transatlantic operations as a crucial part of its flight network. The airline’s A321LR, still in production, was teased on Twitter.
Color us excited! The rollout of our London service next year just got real with this sneak peek at our first new pond-hopping A321LR. The tailfin pattern is aptly named Streamers—as in jetstream and as in let’s jet the party started! pic.twitter.com/h82ommEb4j — JetBlue (@JetBlue) September 22, 2020
“The rollout of our London service next year just got real with this sneak peek at our first new pond-hopping A321LR,” read the message on the social network. "We still plan on taking deliveries of the A321LR and launching service to London in 2021. The timing of our launch may shift later than initially planned as we continue to evaluate the impact of coronavirus and partner with Airbus on our delivery schedule," added a JetBlue (JBLU) representative in an email to AeroTime News.
First hints of JetBlue (JBLU)‘s expanding route network came in late-2018. In April 2019, the company confirmed the news and announced its intention to launch flights from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to one of London’s airports. Naturally, the aircraft chosen for the job was the Airbus A321LR. JetBlue (JBLU) converted 13 of its previously-held A321neo orders into the A321LR.
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