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JetBlue has been expanding its route network, broadening both its domestic and international markets that had previously been serviced by other US-based carriers or smaller, local airlines. Now, it seems the carrier might have its sights set on something much bigger.
According to a recent article by The Wall Street Journal, there are clues that JetBlue could be considering expanding its network to include transatlantic routes. Earlier today, the carrier outlined its most recent Airbus order, which included 30 A321s, some of which will be configured with its Mint business-class product to service transcon and Caribbean routes, as well as others that could be configured in a long-range style. This new version, which Airbus plans to offer in 2019, would include a new type of engine, heavier landing gear and extra fuel tanks.
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) July 26, 2016
JetBlue still needs to decide by late 2017 whether or not it wants to opt for the long-haul A321s from Airbus, but judging by the airline’s tweet, above, things seem to be pointing in that direction. JetBlue’s chief executive, Robin Hayes, told The Wall Street Journal that transatlantic routes “suffer from the same lack of competition and high fares” as transcon routes, and that the new A321 option offers “the potential to consider markets in Europe.” In addition, the carrier released its second-quarter profit ($180 million), which reflected an increase of 18.5% compared to last year.
If JetBlue does enter the transatlantic market, it won’t be the first to offer discounted prices — both Wow Air and Norwegian Air are known for having decent products at fares travelers are not used to seeing for international travel. Of course, by increasing the number of low-cost options between the US and Europe, legacy carriers have felt the pressure to decrease their fares in order to remain competitive, and travelers have certainly gotten the better end of that deal.
If the carrier does decide to go forth and expand its route network to Europe, which would require FAA certification to fly over water with two engines on the A321, there’s a good chance it would offer Mint class on the aircraft. And if the fares for Mint on these routes are anything like the fares for its transcon and Caribbean service, leisure and business travelers might soon have something to look forward to when crossing the pond.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
H/T: Wall Street Journal