Low-cost airline JetBlue said that it would make its transatlantic debut in August as it seeks to shake up one of the world’s most competitive aviation markets.
The carrier will launch daily flights from New York to Heathrow and Gatwick airports from 11 August and 28 September respectively.
Tickets are now on sale for its inaugural flight, starting from £329. Fares for its “Mint” class services start from £999.
JetBlue is coming into the £200bn route at a time of intense disruption in the aviation industry, with the pandemic having already forced carriers such as Norwegian out of the transatlantic market.
Chief executive Robin Hayes said: “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.
“JFK-LHR, the single largest international air travel market from the US, has long suffered from outrageously high fares for far too long, especially in premium cabins.
“We’re ready to change that with a price point and experience that will impress even the most discerning transatlantic flyers.”
The airline, the US’ seventh biggest by passengers carried, is also planning to start a service to London from Boston in summer 2022.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye welcomed the new carrier, saying: “JetBlue’s touchdown at Heathrow as its first U.K. base is a ringing endorsement of the value we deliver for our passengers and the country.”
He also renewed calls for ministers to move the US onto the UK’s travel “green list”.
“In the meantime, Ministers should help more people travel safely and boost the economy by moving more low-risk destinations – including the U.S. – to the green list as vaccination rates increase and infections decrease.”