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TRANSATLANTIC DEBUT

Can JetBlue find the transatlantic sweet spot where others have failed?

Jet blue mint lie flat
Courtesy/Jet Blue
JetBlue Mint’s lie-flat beds.
  • Rosie Spinks
By Rosie Spinks

Quartzy Reporter

After many rumors, American low-cost carrier JetBlue confirmed yesterday (April 10) it will begin operating transatlantic flights from Boston and New York to London, beginning in 2021.

While it’s not the carrier’s first international foray, it is a step into one of the most competitive routes in commercial aviation. Dominated by partners in the three big airline alliances—like American and BA, and Delta and Virgin—it’s a route that commands a large share of global passenger flows.

It’s also one that has proved fraught for a slew of low-cost, long haul disruptors already, with Wow Air and Primera Air both ceasing operations in the last seven months. Meanwhile, pioneer Norwegian Air has been on shaky financial ground, thanks at least in part to its rapacious rate of growth. The question is whether JetBlue can find a transatlantic model that is both disruptive and sustainable.

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