JetBlue plans to bring cheap flights to London

Service will run from NYC, Boston

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business
Worcester1012 via Wikimedia Commons

(CNN) - JetBlue is flying to London in two years.

After several years of hinting it would start service across the Atlantic Ocean, the low-cost carrier finally announced its transatlantic plans. On Wednesday, JetBlue said it would add "multiple daily flights" to the British capital beginning in 2021. The flights will depart from JetBlue's two major US hubs, New York and Boston.

The airline said it would offer "affordable fares" on the two routes.

"The fares being charged today by airlines on these routes, specifically on the premium end, are enough to make you blush," said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue's president in a release.

JetBlue didn't specify which London airport it would serve. Schedules and fares will be announced in the coming months.

London will mark the JetBlue's first European destination. It already flies internationally to the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.

JetBlue is known for offering perks to passengers, including free snacks, live television at every seat and free in-flight internet. It didn't say if it would offer different services for these long flights, but said it will redesign its first class cabins.

To get to London, JetBlue needs larger planes. It's changing 13 of its current orders from the Airbus 321 into the Airbus 321LR, a long-range version of the single-aisle aircraft. The new planes will let the airline serve new cities that weren't "previously accessible," it said.

JetBlue is facing tough competition against several carriers that have been flying the route for years. Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines, and some European-based airlines, like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian Airlines fly between London and the two US cities.

The airline slammed the "mediocre service" currently offered by their rivals and said it will "raise the bar on what travelers can expect from a low-cost carrier."

Transatlantic routes haven't been financially friendly to low-cost carriers, specifically over the last year. Iceland-based WOW Air and Denmark's Primera Air recently went out of business. Norwegian Air has been dealing with its own difficulties because of the grounding of Boeing's 737 Max 8 jets, which it used on some flights to New York.

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