JetBlue has put the suspense over the launch of its planned London service to rest.
The discount carrier will fly daily to both Heathrow and Gatwick airports from New York JFK, answering the longstanding question of where, exactly, it would fly to in the British capital. Heathrow service will lead the way, beginning Aug. 11. Gatwick will follow Sept. 29.
Bostonians, though, will have to endure a bit more mystery. Long-anticipated JetBlue service from Logan Airport to London won't start until summer 2022, and the carrier isn't yet sure whether it will still have Heathrow landing rights by then.
In ultimately selecting both Heathrow and Gatwick from New York, though, JetBlue has taken advantage of the Covid-19 crisis, which for now has opened up landing slots at both of the famously capacity-constrained airports.
JetBlue will be the fourth U.S. airline serving Heathrow, joining the Big 3 of American, Delta and United. But it will be just the second U.S. carrier at Gatwick, alongside American. JetBlue will also be just one of four U.S. airlines flying across the Atlantic.
In a statement Wednesday, the carrier's CEO, Robin Hayes, reiterated earlier pledges to disrupt the premium-class, transatlantic market by offering JetBlue's Mint business-class seats for far less than it has typically cost to fly business class to Europe on alliance carriers.
"JFK-LHR, the single largest international air travel market from the U.S., has long suffered from outrageously high fares for far too long, especially in premium cabins," Hayes said. "We're ready to change that with a price point and experience that will impress even the most discerning transatlantic flyers."
The carrier announced starting fares of $1,979 roundtrip in Mint to both Heathrow and Gatwick and introductory fares in its economy cabin of $599 roundtrip.
JetBlue will fly to London with new, narrow-body Airbus A321LRs featuring 24 Mint suites and 117 economy-class seats. The carrier has previously unveiled updated cabin designs in both the Mint and economy cabins for its transatlantic flights.
At Heathrow, JetBlue will operate from Terminal 2. At Gatwick, JetBlue will be located in the North Terminal.
JetBlue has secured long-term access to landing slots at Gatwick. At Heathrow, however, the carrier has secured only temporary landing access made available due to Covid-19's devastating impact on international flying.
"We continue to work with the slot coordinators and the U.S. and U.K. governments to identify long-term pathways to continue serving Heathrow, as we believe the public benefit from true competition into this market will be extremely meaningful," Hayes said.