JetBlue assesses London options after gaining Heathrow slots

The New York-based LCC had already secured summer slots at LGW and STN.

JetBlue is still evaluating its options for serving London despite a report from Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) confirming the airline has garnered a total of 270 slots at London Heathrow (LHR) for the US summer season. 

The airline aims to begin flights to London in the third quarter of 2021 but has not identified the airports it plans to serve.

In late 2020, JetBlue gained slots at London’s Gatwick (LGW) and Stansted (STN) airports to support its new long-haul service but failed to secure access to London Heathrow. 

Earlier in 2021, the airline told the US Transportation Department it continued to face slot uncertainty because of the UK government’s decision to delay addressing crucial matters affecting slots at LHR and LGW. At that time, JetBlue told the DOT that at Heathrow, existing slot holders had reduced service at a scale that was previously unimaginable. At Gatwick, JetBlue highlighted that certain airlines such as Virgin Atlantic had ceased operations altogether while others, like Norwegian, announced plans to exit the transatlantic market. 

More JetBlue news

ACL, which oversees slot coordination at London’s airports, has released a report outlining slot allocation for the upcoming summer season. JetBlue has received 180 slots for service from New York (JFK) to LHR and 90 from Boston (BOS) to London’s largest airport. 

JetBlue has not formally commented on the latest ACL report, and in a statement to Aviation Week Network said it has “applied for multiple slots at various airports and we are discussing the availability of various permanent and temporary slots with the slot coordinators.” 

Those discussions are continuing, JetBlue said, “and we will evaluate what each London airport is proposing before making a final decision that best supports our transatlantic strategy.” 

Photo credit: Joe Pries