In August 2021, JetBlue launched transatlantic flights using Airbus A321LRs. Up until now, the airline has only operated to London (Gatwick and Heathrow). Well, JetBlue has now announced its next destination in Europe, and not surprisingly it’s Paris.
JetBlue adding Boston and New York to Paris flights
While the airline is light on details as of now, JetBlue has revealed plans to add flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG):
- JetBlue flight will fly from New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG) as of the summer of 2023
- JetBlue will “later” add flights from Boston (BOS) to Paris (CDG)
JetBlue states that seats will go on sale in the coming months. Not surprisingly, Paris is the largest European destination not currently served by JetBlue from its New York and Boston hubs.
Here’s how JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes describes this expansion:
“JetBlue is offering something completely unique to what you get from the big global legacy airlines on these routes – where a single high-fare joint venture operates nearly three-quarters of the flying. The response to our London service is proof that combining great service with low fares works. We can’t wait to bring our reimagined Mint and core offerings to Continental Europe’s most visited city.”
Basics of JetBlue’s Airbus A321LRs
For context, JetBlue’s European growth is made possible by its Airbus A321LR fleet. This is the current longest range version of the popular Airbus A321 (“LR” stands for “long range”), until the A321XLR starts flying. The airline has a total of 14 of these on order, and currently has seven in its fleet.
These planes are specially configured for these transatlantic missions. JetBlue’s A321LRs have a total of 138 seats. This includes 24 Mint seats, spread across 12 rows in a 1-1 configuration.
22 of those seats are Mint Suites, which are the standard business class seats. These are fully flat, have direct aisle access, and each have a privacy door.
Two of those seats are Mint Studios, which are the seats in the first row, and they feature significantly more room. They also have a buddy seat feature, so that you can have someone else join you during the flight.
JetBlue then has 114 economy class seats, 24 of which are Even More Space (extra legroom) seats.
JetBlue has an exceptional soft product in all cabins. There’s also complimentary Wi-Fi for all passengers, plus personal televisions, including on demand and live TV programming.
My take on JetBlue’s expansion to Paris
I love flying with JetBlue, and I appreciate JetBlue’s impact on the competitive landscape. While ultra low cost carriers are focused on price, and the legacy carriers are focused on being all things to all people, JetBlue has largely been focused on offering a quality product. The airline offers complimentary Wi-Fi, has seatback TV throughout its fleet, and has more legroom than other US airlines.
Interestingly JetBlue’s greatest competitive impact has probably been with bringing down business class fares in premium domestic markets, as JetBlue’s Mint revolutionized that in terms of price and quality.
Now, JetBlue isn’t exactly the most profitable airline, and the airline has also struggled with schedule reliability. Nonetheless, it’s fantastic to see JetBlue add more transatlantic service:
- This will be some major competition for La Compagnie, the all-business class airline flying between Newark and Paris
- Air France and Delta otherwise dominate the New York to Paris market, so it’s nice that JetBlue can provide some more competition to that strong joint venture
- That being said, with limited frequencies, lack of connections, and no lounges, JetBlue does face an uphill battle with attracting business traffic and corporate contracts
JetBlue has announced that it will start flying to Paris as of the summer of 2023. The airline will initially fly from New York, and will add service from Boston at a later date. Beyond that, details are limited as of now, as no schedule or exact launch date has been revealed.
This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone, as we knew that JetBlue was planning on making Paris its next transatlantic destination. I’m excited to see this JetBlue expand into this market.
What do you make of JetBlue’s expansion to Paris?