JetBlue gets additional London Heathrow slot pair
JetBlue has picked up an additional slot pair for London Heathrow, which will see the carrier introduce a new daytime eastbound transatlantic flight. Specifically, as of March 25, 2023, JetBlue will add the following New York JFK to London Heathrow service:
B61107 New York to London departing 8:30AM arriving 8:45PM
B62220 London to New York departing 8:25AM arriving 11:40AM
People have strong feelings about daytime eastbound transatlantic flights:
- On the one hand, they’re great for helping to avoid jetlag, so you don’t have to miss a night of sleep in a real bed, especially with how short the New York to London overnight flights are
- On the other hand, you “waste” a day flying east, as you take off in the morning and land at night
Presumably JetBlue is launching this flight because it’s the only additional Heathrow slot that it could get its hands on, rather than because the airline was specifically seeking out a daytime flight like this.
JetBlue adjusting overall London schedule
While JetBlue has secured an additional London Heathrow slot, the airline isn’t increasing its overall service to London.
Prior to this announcement, JetBlue’s plan was to:
- Operate three daily flights between New York and London, with one being to Heathrow, and two being to Gatwick
- Operate two daily flights between Boston and London, with one being to Heathrow, and one being to Gatwick
With this change, JetBlue is adding an additional New York to London Heathrow flight, but is also dropping one of its two planned daily New York to London Gatwick flights.
For context, here’s the schedule for JetBlue’s other daily flight between New York JFK and London Heathrow:
B60007 New York to London departing 9:00PM arriving 9:00AM (+1 day)
B60020 London to New York departing 11:55AM arriving 3:15PM
Meanwhile here’s the schedule for JetBlue’s daily flight between New York JFK and London Gatwick:
B643 New York to London departing 7:30PM arriving 7:55AM (+1 day)
B644 London to New York departing 12:00PM arriving 3:15PM
JetBlue’s motive here is pretty clear. The airline wants to pick up as many London Heathrow slots as it can, since that’s key to JetBlue’s long-term success in London. It’s not entirely clear to me how JetBlue has acquired these slots, and if it’s temporary or permanent.
I suspect JetBlue is dropping a second daily London Gatwick flight from New York not because the demand isn’t potentially there, but rather because the airline doesn’t have enough aircraft to operate all this service. Keep in mind that JetBlue is also launching New York to Paris flights as of the summer of 2023, so some upcoming A321LR deliveries are earmarked for that.
JetBlue will be making changes to its London flight schedule as of the summer of 2023. While the airline will maintain a total of five daily flights to London (three from New York and two from Boston), there will be changes to the New York service. Rather than flying twice daily to Gatwick, the airline will fly twice daily to Heathrow. This is thanks to some new Heathrow slots that JetBlue managed to pick up.
These slots are for an untraditional transatlantic schedule, meaning JetBlue will have a daytime eastbound flight.
What do you make of JetBlue’s London service changes?