JetBlue Buys $3.6B In New Planes; Are Flights To Europe Next?

Image courtesy of Boss Meg

Four months after JetBlue failed to win over Virgin America and gobble up routes in California, the carrier is considering ferrying passengers across the Atlantic instead. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that JetBlue is looking into creating its first trans-Atlantic flights, shifting away from its status as a primarily domestic discount carrier.

The idea surfaced during an announcement on Tuesday related to JetBlue’s $3.6 billion purchase of new aircraft, including some that will use the carrier’s premium Mint service and could be configured for long-range trips allowing the “potential to consider markets in Europe.”

CEO Robin Hayes tells the WSJ that current trans-Atlantic routes “suffer from the lack of competition and high fares” as cross-country routes in the U.S.

Still, if JetBlue does decide to jump across the pond, it won’t be until at least 2019 when the airline’s new aircraft is ready.

That also gives the carrier time to apply for and receive certification by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly over water for a long period of time — a process that can take 12 to 18 months.

In the meantime, JetBlue will continue focusing on its domestic service, including adding routes from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Diego to New York and Boston; Seattle to New York and Boston; and Las Vegas to New York, complete with its new Mint service.

The airline estimates that it will offer 70 Mint flights a day to 13 destinations by 2017.

JetBlue Considers Adding Routes to Europe [The Wall Street Journal]

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