New York's flag carrier JetBlue will make London its first European destination when it offers flights to the city from 2021, the low-cost airline announced today.
JetBlue, which is also Boston's largest airline, said the new routes to London will be served by Airbus A321LR and will mark the first-ever transatlantic service offered by the award-winning airline. It is considering which London airports it will fly to.
The company said growth in Europe was the next step in its strategy.
"Travelers flying across the North Atlantic between the northeast US and London have long faced sky-high fares – particularly in premium cabins – or mediocre service in a market effectively controlled by legacy carriers and their massive joint ventures," it said.
"Alternatively, a handful of low-cost carriers have attempted to enter with a no-frills, bare-bones approach to flying offering little in the way of complimentary amenities or the kind of service that has JetBlue has become famous in the Americas. Particularly in Europe, JetBlue will raise the bar on what travellers can expect from a low-cost carrier."
Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue president and chief operating officer, said: “London is the largest metro area JetBlue doesn’t yet serve from both Boston and New York and we could not be more thrilled to be changing that in the years ahead. The fares being charged today by airlines on these routes, specifically on the premium end, are enough to make you blush.”
Geraghty called on US and European regulators to "create conditions" for smaller carriers to thrive, saying the larger airlines had been allowed to get bigger and stifle competition.
"Given a chance to compete, JetBlue can have a tremendous effect on lowering fares and stimulating traffic," she added.
When the flights to London go live, the UK will be the 23rd country it will fly to.