JetBlue announced yesterday (10 April 2019) that it is to commence flights from the United States to the UK. Nick Wyatt, Head of Research & Analysis, Travel & Tourism at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the announcement:
“JetBlue’s announcement that it is to commence transatlantic flights in 2021 comes as no surprise. It is also well-timed.
“WOW air recently ceased operations and fellow low-cost, long-haul operator Norwegian is having to streamline routes and scale back its ambitions as it focuses on returning to profitability. This opens the door for an airline offering lower prices to enter the fray, hence the timing of JetBlue’s announcement.
“If JetBlue can offer competitive prices without compromising too much on the kind of service business fliers expect, then it stands a good chance of being successful.
“The move is not without its challenges however. The woes of WOW and Norwegian clearly illustrate a need for restraint in price slashing and retaliation from established transatlantic operators like Delta, United and Virgin Atlantic is inevitable. They may even muscle in on routes on which they will make a loss to force JetBlue out.
“JetBlue has not yet stated which London airports it will serve and this is telling. Securing slots at an extremely busy Heathrow is far from straightforward, and partnerships between British Airways and American, and between Virgin Atlantic and Delta, will put JetBlue at a distinct disadvantage. As far as business class is concerned, Heathrow is a must so it will be interesting to see how JetBlue approaches this issue.”