JetBlue’s Airbus A321LR takes to the skies for the first time

Nov 26, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

JetBlue’s London flights are one step closer to taking off.

On Tuesday, the carrier’s first Airbus A321LR took to the skies for its maiden flight. With test registration D-AVXF, the long-range Airbus narrow-body was airborne for about two-and-a-half hours before returning to the manufacturer’s facility in Hamburg, Germany.

This initial test flight is the first in what’s likely a series before the plane ultimately gets delivered to the New York-based carrier. This specific A321LR is slated for delivery at some point in early 2021.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

The Airbus A321LR is a longer-range variant of the carrier’s newest A321neo. With a range of about 4,700 miles, the LR-version can comfortably fly fully loaded between the U.S. Northeast and Western Europe. It will allow JetBlue to expand to London — a mission that’s been on the carrier’s long-term plan for years.

While we already learned what the plane would look like on the outside, we still don’t yet know the cabin configuration.

In September, JetBlue unveiled a new tail fin design dubbed “streamers” to celebrate its launch of transatlantic travel.

According to the carrier, the waving ribbon motif was chosen to celebrate the big milestone. As for the shades of blue, JetBlue explained that they’re a nod to ocean waves and the jet stream. The airline plans to adorn streamers on all the tails of its 13 A321LRs that it has on order.

JetBlue’s new “streamers” tailfin for the A321LR. (Image courtesy of JetBlue Airways)

To coincide with its first transatlantic flight, JetBlue is planning to launch a new Mint business-class product. The carrier hasn’t released any clues yet as to the new seat, but we’re hopeful that each pod will feature direct aisle access.

As for the amenities and culinary offerings, JetBlue just launched brand-new offerings with updated Tuft & Needle bedding, refined restaurant-inspired dining, noise-canceling headsets and amenity kits. It remains to be seen if these offerings will be deployed on the London routes.

JetBlue’s “old” Mint suite (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Mint has already revolutionized the premium transcontinental market — both in terms of pricing and product. So it seems poised to do the same to the New York- (JFK) and Boston-(BOS)-to-London market when flights start in late 2021.

Related: JetBlue says likelihood of London Heathrow flights has improved because of pandemic

The carrier hasn’t finalized which London-area airport(s) it will fly to. Of course, many business travelers prefer Heathrow, but it’s historically been hard for airlines to start new service to this slot-controlled airport — unless they’re willing to buy the rights from another airline for tens of millions of dollars.

JetBlue has hinted that the likelihood of Heathrow flying has increased due to the pandemic. With long-haul flying at record lows, some airlines might forfeit their slots, or sell them at a discount to newcomers like JetBlue.

JetBlue plans to take delivery of three total A321LRs in 2021, and three more in 2022, under a revised delivery schedule unveiled in late October.

JetBlue’s new “streamers” tailfin for the A321LR. (Image courtesy of JetBlue Airways)

To unlock even more range, the airline has already ordered the A321XLR, with deliveries slated to begin in 2023. This plane will allow JetBlue to fly to even more European destinations when it enters the fleet.

Featured photo by Markus Mainka/Shutterstock

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.