Crossing the pond more cheaply

By | Category: Travel news

During WTM earlier this month, the boss of US low-cost airline, Jet Blue, confirmed it was still looking at linking the north east of the USA with the UK.

Jetblue – coming to the UK?

Since Freddy Laker began his Skytrain service all those decades ago a number of airlines have tried to introduce low cost flights. Generally there is more announcement than delivery but in the last couple of years, Icelandair and Norwegian have provided some less pricey fares compared to those charged by BA, American, Delta, United and Virgin Atlantic.

The pandemic has hit Norwegian hard and it is in need of a bailout. The American airlines, BA and Virgin have all been shoring up the balance sheets and the last thing they will want will be a price war.

Passengers, on the other hand, would love one.

Probably the announcement by Jet Blue is a bit early because few of us know what flying will be like post-pandemic. Will it be as before or will many fewer of us fly relying on things like Zoom and Skype instead?

To cloud the issue, Jet Blue has a deal with American Airlines which in turn is part of Oneworld along with British Airways. Would American be happy to see a partner undercut it on one of its most lucrative routes? Maybe JetBlue won’t fly from New York or Boston which is where American is strong. For the New York area, it It might choose Philadelphia or another airport within a reasonable distance like Stewart International (it already flies into Stewart) which is about 60 miles north of the middle of New York.

Will JetBlue manage to get slots at Heathrow which seems to be the plum that all airlines want? Will it settle for Gatwick which will give it a strong passenger base despite being south of London?  At present there is probably availability at both Gatwick and Stansted whilst who knows what will happen at Heathrow.

Forgetting those problems for a moment, passengers would probably welcome a JetBlue service. The airline has a good reputation and regularly beats the other airlines in surveys of customer satisfaction and service

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