JetBlue Airways – a New York based airline – could be about to put on new routes to Europe after placing a "gigantic" $3.6bn (£2.7bn) order for 30 Airbus jets.
The move would mark a huge change in strategy for the domestic focused US discount carrier.
Some of the 30 new single-aisle A321 planes would be used for the carrier’s premium Mint service that flies on across the US and to the Caribbean but could also be used for transatlantic flights, chief executive Robin Hayes said in an interview.
Details of the order were released along with JetBlue's second quarter earnings which recorded profit of $180m, up 18.5 per cent on the same period last year.
In the interview Hayes claimed transatlantic flights suffered "a lack of competition and high fares”.
JetBlue started its Mint service in 2014 to compete with larger carriers flying from New York to LA and the first of the orders will be used to completment this service.
By 2019 JetBlue may be able to start its first transatlantic flights.
“It’s a gigantic order, but it’s very important strategically to what we’re trying to do, especially with Mint,” Marty St. George, executive vice president for planning, said in a seperate interview.
By year end of this year JetBlue expects to have a total of 37 A321 aircraft. There are plans to grow this to 52 A321 aircraft by the end of 2017.
By 2018 JetBlue expects to have a total of 63 A321 aircraft, 6 of which will be A321neo.