JetBlue Could Add More Routes, Expand Mint Service in 2017
JetBlue could once again expand its destination network and add more Mint routes, according to The Motley Fool. The publication came to these conclusions by analyzing the airline's new fleet plan for 2017 and 2018.
After deferring the delivery of aircraft two years ago, JetBlue is once again ready to add new Airbus A321s, with the first ones arriving later in 2017. The carrier is expected to accept 15 new A321 aircraft this year, with 11 A321s coming in 2018. As new aircraft join the fleet, JetBlue will retrofit older planes with two additional rows of seats.
Capacity and customer demand for flights are not the only factors fueling the airline's growth. Due to the success of its premium Mint product, JetBlue could look to increase the reach and availability of this cabin. Currently, it has 11 A321s equipped with the Mint experience. With 15 additional A321s joining the fleet this year alone, it stands to reason that more routes with Mint could soon become available.
Currently, Mint service is available on flights between the airline's focus cities of Boston and New York and 10 destinations, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. And in light of the airline's expansion into the Caribbean over the past few years, it could add new Mint routes to other international destinations.
JetBlue's expansion may not be limited to North America and other nearby destinations like the Caribbean, however. The airline could convert some of its future A321neo deliveries to the long-range variant, the A321LR, starting in 2019. With enough range to fly from the East Coast to Europe, these planes could enable the carrier to offer service across the Atlantic. As of July 2016, the airline had 60 A321neo aircraft on order. However, growth into Europe would still be years away, as the carrier would not begin flying the new aircraft until 2020.
The prospect of more JetBlue routes, not to mention the expansion of the airline's Mint premium cabin, is now in the hands of the consumer. If Mint proves to be a continued success, it could continue to rapidly expand with the new aircraft coming on board in 2017 and beyond. Flyers in markets served by the New York-based carrier may want to pay closer attention to the airline, as another premium cabin choice could soon become available from their home airport.