Is JetBlue Poised to Add Routes to Europe?
Photo courtesy of JetBlue
A pair of big announcements from JetBlue Tuesday are fueling speculation that the airline could be considering adding transatlantic routes.
The New York-based carrier revealed an impressive 18.5 percent rise in second-quarter earnings compared to the same period last year — with net income for the three-month period climbing from $152 million to $180 million — and confirmed an agreement with Airbus to purchase 30 additional A321 aircraft.
Fifteen of the A321 planes will begin arriving in 2017, while the other 15 A321neo (new engine option) aircraft will begin arriving in 2020.
The Wall Street Journal hinted at the possibility of JetBlue expanding its offerings to include transatlantic flights, while ThePointsGuy.com also examined a variety of factors that could lead the carrier to make the move.
JetBlue's CEO Robin Hayes told the Journal that flights between the U.S. and Europe "suffer from the same lack of competition and high fares" as transcontinental routes.
What's more, Hayes said the Airbus A321 offers "the potential to consider markets in Europe." The A321neo aircraft feature a new engine option, additional fuel tanks and heavier landing gear that would allow JetBlue to use it on long-haul flights.
According to ThePointsGuy.com, JetBlue has a little more than a year to decide whether it will opt for the long-haul A321s.
Although JetBlue wouldn't be the first low-cost carrier to add routes between the U.S. and Europe, as Hayes alluded to, competition is limited.
Plus, JetBlue could potentially roll out its popular Mint business class offering on any transatlantic offerings.
While it remains to be seen whether JetBlue will begin flying between the U.S. and Europe, the possibility should excite travelers, who would undoubtedly benefit from an increase in competition.
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