JetBlue Airways will soon offer more competition to legacy US airlines on transatlantic routes. The low-cost carrier alluded again to announcing a European expansion last week as most airlines gear up for the spring and summer of 2023. Paris appears to be the top contender.

In a Routes 360 report, JetBlue officials said in June that they plan to make Paris its first mainland European destination in 2023. With the New Year less than three months away, such an announcement is imminent.

Today’s video is simple

Photo: JetBlue

Why Paris?

Paris can be a unique and profitable destination for JetBlue. Similar to London, the city has more than one airport served by commercial airlines. Orly Airport is located about 11 miles (19 km) from Paris and is smaller and serves as a secondary hub for the much larger Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is located 15 miles (25 km) away.

JetBlue will likely only announce service to one airport in Paris due to initial demand. However, there are other factors to check such as getting competitive time slots at larger and more crowded airports.

With travel volumes down due to the pandemic, JetBlue has taken advantage of open slots at London Heathrow Airport. When travel volumes recovered this year, the airline was given permission to make these slots permanent. Getting permanent time slots at Charles de Gaulle Airport can be a challenge.

If the market is considered successful and there is strong demand, it could expand to the two Paris airports, as we saw in London.

Expanding across the pond

In August 2021, the carrier began transatlantic service from New York – JFK to London Heathrow. Just a month later, the airline opened flights to London Gatwick.

JetBlue’s international operations expanded this year with service to and from Boston from London Heathrow and London Gatwick. On Saturday, the company added a second daily flight to London Gatwick from New York.

During JetBlue’s third-quarter earnings call on October 25, CEO Robin Hayes stated that the company is looking to add more European cities to its route network. According to a report from Travel Weekly, Hayes said,

“We see an opportunity to get out of New York and Boston to travel to a number of European markets, and we are confidently moving forward with these plans.”

The perfect bird

With deliveries of all-new A321LR aircraft, JetBlue can make transatlantic growth a reality. The airline also plans to deliver shipments of the A321XLR that can fly to farther destinations. Hayes said in a statement to ch-aviation,

“The A321XLR’s impressive extended range allows us to evaluate more overseas destinations as we consider JetBlue’s expansion into higher-priced, underserved European markets. The XLR opens service possibilities between the Northeast US and destinations in Southern, Central and Northern Europe.”

JetBlue’s A321LRs are suitably equipped for long-haul flights with most transatlantic aircraft accommodating 114 passengers on the bus and 22 suites in the Mint’s extended premium class. The Mint class also includes two rows of Mint studio seating that feature 22-inch TV screens and are large enough to comfortably accommodate two people.

Source: AFAR

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