Earlier this week, JetBlue announced they are considering expanding their service to include trans-Atlantic flights to Europe for the first time. The details came amid the New York-based airliner’s second-quarter earnings report on Tuesday.
During the earnings call, JetBlue revealed details about a purchase agreement with Airbus for 30 more A321 aircrafts over the next seven years. A new long-range variant of the A321 is set to debut in 2019. If JetBlue decides to convert its A321 fleet into the long-version of the plane, it would then be possible for the airliner to fly across the Atlantic for the first time.
“This enhanced airplane type could well be a game-changer for us and provide us the ability for JetBlue flights to Europe from other East Coast focused cities, should we choose to do so,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s CEO.
Currently, the low-cost carrier does not fly to Europe and has instead focused on the U.S. market and flights to the Caribbean and Latin America.
No official decision has yet been made, but JetBlue’s low-cost model threatens to disrupt the traditionally pricey trans-Atlantic airliner market, which is currently dominated by the world’s largest airline alliances.
“We like to go into markets with high fares and stimulate them with lower prices,” said Martin St. George, JetBlue’s Executive Vice President of Commercial and Planning. “[This] could be the leap allowing us to leverage our relevance in the East Coast focused cities and accelerate launching service to Europe. We are excited about the optionality and the potential opportunity.”
JetBlue said its final decision on whether they expand to Europe will be based on what the right business and economic decision will be at the time. “While we are not formally committing to this fleet type, and we are not ready to announce anything today, we are excited about the optionality and the potential opportunity,” said St. George.