US airline JetBlue announces it has delayed the start of its highly awaited transatlantic services
New York/JFK-based carrier JetBlue says the introduction of its highly anticipated Airbus A321LR transatlantic services will be delayed further into next year.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Robin Hayes, the airline’s CEO said the launch would be later in 2021 “than we originally thought”.
The 21-year-old firm announced in April last year that it would begin services from New York and Boston to London in 2021.
The move will be the company’s first foray into Europe – it currently operates flights throughout the US, Caribbean, and South America.
Asked about when connections will begin, Hayes commented: “I don’t want to put an exact date on [the services], we don’t even have the airplane yet that’s coming early next year, but I think my expectation is that at some point in quarter three we’ll launch.”
The airline has not yet taken delivery of the A321LR it needs to operate the route – it expected to accept the jet this year but delays at Airbus have pushed the hand over back into 2021.
Once the narrowbody arrives Hayes explained that before it can begin flights, the carrier will need to complete its ETOPS certification.
“We’re already partnering with the FAA on that process but let’s get that in the can and then we’re ready to fly,” Hayes commented.
The firm’s boss says the airline will announce which London airport it has selected closer to the time: “We have a number of options…we expect to load selling schedules usually several months before we start flying and that’s when we’ll share the exciting news of which airport we’re thinking about launching with.”