JetBlue has announced Paris as its second transatlantic destination. The airline plans to launch nonstop flights from its hub at New York-JFK to Paris-Charles de Gaulle next summer, followed by another flight from Boston to the French capital.
JetBlue’s overseas adventure began in August 2021 when it inaugurated its first-ever flight to London after spending almost two decades focusing on select point-to-point flights within the U.S and the Caribbean. Today, JetBlue operates five weekly flights to the U.K.
The airline’s CEO, Robin Hayes, believes that with the addition of Paris to the network, his airline can offer “something completely unique” to what a passenger can 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 New York to Paris route is, in fact, one of the most crowded transatlantic markets. With the Delta-Air France-KLM joint venture in place and the addition of some flights operated by American Airlines, the route is served nine times daily with planes as big as a Boeing 777-300ER. If flights between the New York and Paris areas are added (including airports such as Newark and Paris Orly), the route is served up to 15 times daily.
With France being the world’s most visited country—with an estimated 75 million travelers expected in 2023—Hayes and company hope to grab some of that ever-growing market and introduce its Mint product into the competition. “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,” he said.
JetBlue expects to operate the route with its brand new Airbus A321LR, fitted with 24 lie-flat Mint business class seats and 115 economy class seats. However, with recent delivery delays from Airbus, JetBlue has had to operate some of its flights to London with the A321neo, which is far more limited in terms of payload and range.
Today, the airline operates a fleet of 283 aircraft, of which five are Airbus A321LR. The airline can comfortably connect the U.S. East Coast with Western Europe with these planes.
When JetBlue took delivery of its first A321LR, Hayes said that the plane would “set the stage for a new era at JetBlue.”
“We now have an aircraft allowing us to stretch our wings and become a true global carrier offering flights beyond the Americas for the first time,” he said. “The A321LR platform – offering the range of a wide-body but with the economics of a single-aisle aircraft – is the right size for us and will allow us to effectively compete on flights between the U.S. and London.”
Currently, TAP Air Portugal operates the A321LR on routes between its hub in Lisbon and New York and Boston.
Talking about the addition of JetBlue to the market, Anne-Laure Tuncer, Director of USA Atout France and regional coordinator for the Americas, said, “With so much pent-up demand, JetBlue is just in time to have their American customers experience the vitality and diversity of France’s offerings.”
Tuncer also noted that with important upcoming sporting events, such as the Rugby World Cup 2023 and the Paris Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, the addition of JetBlue to the transatlantic market would bring plenty of benefits to the public.
JetBlue is expected to release the inaugural date to Paris and its flight time allocations soon.