The UK’s aviation regulator has today given US carrier JetBlue clearance to begin operating flights to Britain, in a blow for transatlantic rivals such as British Airways.
It is the first time since the UK left the EU that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given regulatory approval to a foreign carrier.
New York-based JetBlue will begin operating flights between Boston, New York and London, the CAA said.
The carrier, which is led by former BA executive Robin Hayes, has long been plotting its entry into the lucrative transatlantic market.
It comes shortly after the departure of Norwegian Air, which has been forced out of the routes which powered its rapid growth due to urgent restructuring requirements.
HSBC analyst Andrew Lobbenberg said that JetBlue had replaced Norwegian as the market’s “chief disrupter”.
It will go up against established fliers such as BA and Virgin Atlantic, as well as a host of US-based carriers.
The former have been pushing for the UK and US to open up a travel corridor as soon as possible due to their similar rates of vaccination.