US low-cost airline JetBlue is planning to further its expansion into the “old continent” as it expects to post a profit this quarter.
The carrier made the headlines last week when it reported a loss of $188m in the second quarter of the year due to fuel costs going up by around 30 per cent.
However, JetBlue said it was forecasting to return to profit for this quarter – the first since the pandemic hit.
Looking ahead, the airline said it will continue to expand both in the US, with the recent takeover of rival Spirit Airlines for $33.50 per share, but also in Europe.
“We expect in 2023 to add a second European destination, [but we are] still deciding what that is,” chief executive Robin Hayes told City A.M. during an interview.
“And the UK regional airports like Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow are very interesting to us as well.”
Hayes’ remarks come as the company is about to celebrate the first-year anniversary of its UK operations.
While carriers around the world were struggling to keep afloat, in the summer of 2021 JetBlue decided to expand into the London market.
After a slow start, things really took off when both the UK and the US removed Covid travel restrictions.
Expanding during Covid also proved to be a smart play as it allowed JetBlue to get into Heathrow.
“We now have access to two permanent slots at Heathrow, which may not have been possible in a world where every airline was flying all of their schedules,” the US businessman explained.
The low-cost airline is currently running three daily services, one to Heathrow and two to Gatwick.
Its latest route, Boston to Gatwick, was inaugurated on Friday while flights from Boston to Heathrow and a second JFK to Gatwick service will start in September and October respectively.
“By the end of October we’ll have up to five flights a day and that’s our plan now for London,” he said.
Despite not being as impacted by the travel mayhem at UK airports, JetBlue called on all stakeholders to work together and find a solution.
“Customers don’t care, they just want the different stakeholders to work together through the issues,” Hayes said.