It's official: JetBlue will be launching its first transatlantic routes this year, with new flights to London's two busiest airports from New York City this summer.
The budget airline, known for its perks in economy class and affordable business-class cabin, will launch its first U.K. route out of New York's John F. Kennedy airport to London Heathrow on August 11; that will be followed by a second route launch from JFK to London's Gatwick airport on September 29.
The much-anticipated route launch comes at a time when transatlantic tourism is restarting, with COVID-19 restrictions beginning to roll back in Europe and the U.S. after more than a year of travel lockdowns. “The pandemic has opened doors to London’s two busiest airports, and we look forward to bringing customers low fares and great service at both Heathrow and Gatwick,” Robin Hayes, JetBlue's CEO, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The initial schedule at Heathrow is possible due to temporary slot availability that opened up in 2020, according to Hayes. “We continue to work with the slot coordinators and the U.S. and U.K. governments to identify long-term pathways to continue serving Heathrow,” he said. Additionally, in summer 2022, the airline will launch another London route out of Boston's Logan airport.
Fares for both routes are on sale as of today, with prices for roundtrip tickets starting at $599 for economy seats and $1,979 in Mint, JetBlue's beloved premium cabin.
“JFK-LHR, the single largest international air travel market from the U.S., has long suffered from outrageously high fares for far too long, especially in premium cabins,” Hayes said. “We’re ready to change that with a price point and experience that will impress even the most discerning transatlantic flyers.”
The new flights to London will operate daily and will feature brand new Airbus A321 long-range planes, fitted with 24 totally reimagined Mint suites with fully closing doors, two of which are extra-large 22.7 square-foot Mint Studio suites that can accommodate two passengers at cruising altitude. Each suite also has lie-flat seats, made with supportive memory foam from Tuft & Needle and upholstered in buttery soft vegan leather, as well as a 17-inch entertainment screen.
The overhauled Mint product also includes refreshed in-flight meals, drinks, and amenities, including over-the-ear headphones from Master & Dynamic, sleep kits from Tuft & Needle, wellness kits from Wanderfuel, and food and beverage from Delicious Hospitality Group—founders of iconic New York restaurants like Charlie Bird and Legacy Records.
The plane's economy cabin will have 117 seats with JetBlue's signature perks like free in-flight Wi-Fi and free entertainment at each seat, including live TV.
“Our low fares will disrupt the pricing of the major carriers and massive joint ventures,” Hayes said of the route launch. “JetBlue’s presence in this market is going to be immediately noticeable to customers.”
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Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler