Airline in Focus: JetBlue Airways

Routes profiles the latest operations of New York-based JetBlue Airways, the World Routes 2021 attendee that has just launched its second transatlantic service.

JetBlue Airways has this week expanded its presence in the US-UK market by launching its second nonstop service to London.

The first flight from New York John K Kennedy (JFK) to London Gatwick (LGW) touched down in the UK capital shortly before 8 a.m. on Sept. 30. The route will initially be offered four times per week before expanding to daily in November.

JetBlue’s maiden transatlantic route began in August, connecting JFK and London Heathrow (LHR). The carrier said the launch of Gatwick brings its London service in line with its multi-airport approach in New York, Los Angeles and South Florida.

The airline added it has seen a “500% increase” in UK bookings after the US government announced plans to ease entry requirements for vaccinated UK and European citizens from November.

“It’s clear there is significant pent-up demand for travel between our two countries and that our Gatwick launch is well timed to meet the growing number of customers returning to the skies,” JetBlue president and COO Joanna Geraghty said.

Following the launch of JFK-LGW, JetBlue has become the sole carrier to provide nonstop flights between London Gatwick and New York. The route was served pre-pandemic by both British Airways and Norwegian.

At 5,565 km (3,459 mi.), JFK-LGW is also the farthest route in JetBlue’s network—29 km farther than JFK-LHR. Both the London services are operated using Airbus A321neo aircraft.

Looking at JetBlue’s wider network, the airline is this week (w/c Sept. 27, 2021) offering 839,094 departure seats across 288 nonstop routes. About two-thirds of its capacity is deployed on domestic routes.

This compares with 969,620 seats during the same week two years ago and 252 routes. The capacity split at this time in 2019 was 74% domestic and 26% international.

More airlines in focus

The data, provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, also shows that JFK-Los Angeles (LAX) is JetBlue’s biggest route by capacity in September with 67,300 two-way monthly seats, followed by service between JFK and Santiago (STI) in the Dominican Republic with 63,200 seats.

Two Florida routes from JFK—to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO)—are the next largest, and JKF-Santo Domingo (SDQ) completes the top five.

Photo credit: Joe Pries