THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
JetBlue, which describes itself as New York's Hometown Airline, is shaking up the transatlantic flight market with a new nonstop service between John F. Kennedy International Airport and London Heathrow.
The first customer-carrying JetBlue flight between the US and the UK touched down at Heathrow just before 10am local time this morning (August 12, 2021), a milestone that marks the first time JetBlue has served a destination outside the 100+ cities it flies to throughout the Americas.
Robin Hayes, JetBlue's CEO, said, "For the first time in JetBlue's 21-year history we are crossing the North Atlantic and competing in one of the busiest travel markets in the world, well-positioned to introduce our award-winning service and low fares to a new global audience that is ready for a fresh choice in transatlantic flying. As the U.K. opens to travelers coming from America, our flights are well timed to meet the pent up demand for travel between our two countries. We look forward to welcoming U.K. travelers to the U.S. soon and launching service between Boston and London next year."
The new service uses Heathrow's newest terminal, T2. Flights will operate daily in August and four times weekly in September on JetBlue's new Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft, with a choice of 24 redesigned Mint 'lie-flat' suites and 114 core seats. JetBlue is offsetting CO2 emissions from all flights to and from London throughout 2021. In 2020 it became the first major US airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all domestic flights, and has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
The new service is a positive move for business travel, and for tourism too, according to Paul Gauger, VisitBritain's senior vice president, The Americas. He said, "The JetBlue route launch between New York and London is not only a most welcomed service to build on the transatlantic market, but the additional accessibility between the two destinations will be an essential player in reigniting international travel. It is no surprise that there is a huge appetite from Americans to return to Britain, and with the recent announcement regarding the quarantine lift for double vaccinated Americans, we are ready to safely welcome them back to experience the bustling city of London and beyond, from our picturesque villages, breath-taking countryside and captivating coasts."
Congratulating JetBlue on its inaugural transatlantic flight, Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, the British Ambassador to the United States said, "As vaccinated Americans can now come to the U.K. without the need to quarantine, this route will offer more Americans a path to doing business, holidays and family reunions in the U.K. Today's flight quite literally takes our Special Relationship to new heights!"