JetBlue delays launch of much-awaited London-Boston service

Jun 1, 2022

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JetBlue’s long awaited service between Boston and London’s two biggest airports has hit another snag with further delays of up two months.

Its forthcoming operations from Boston Logan International (BOS) to/from London Gatwick (LGW) and London Heathrow (LHR) had initially been primed for launch from initial 19 July and 22 August. Now, however, these launch dates have been shunted back to 4 August and 20 September respectively.

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The low-cost U.S. carrier has pinned the blame on Airbus, claiming “unexpected production delays” at the manufacturer. Both routes were scheduled to use Airbus A321LRs.

Image courtesy of JetBlue

Customers who’ve already booked with the airline can choose from a full refund or a change-over at New York JFK Airport instead. Which might sound like a minor inconvenience to some, but will be a real setback for many passengers who had been looking forward to more direct, and — importantly — affordable routes toward Massachusetts.

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Having already launched a debut U.K.-focused ad campaign complete with the tagline, ‘Sky-high experiences, down-to-earth fares’, JetBlue has made no secret of its plans to muscle in on the commercial U.K. air industry, snapping up landing spots at quite the rate.

The airline’s elusive London-Boston route was originally slated to launch in 2021, as reported by TPG way back in 2019. Obviously, we all know what happened next and several lockdowns — and airport reopenings, including Gatwick — later, new launch dates were announced just last month, only to now be amended.

The company’s latest regulatory filings revealed it’s grabbed hundreds of landing slots at Heathrow alone. It recently leased 14 Heathrow slots a week from Qatar Airways for the summer season, allowing for a daily departure to either New York’s JFK or Boston, some of which now look likely to remain unfilled.

The airline recently told TPG: “JetBlue continues to pursue multiple paths for slots at London airports. Those discussions are continuing and we are excited to grow our transatlantic service in 2022.”

Aboard JetBlue’s A321LD (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Delays or no delays, it’s fair to say we’re within touching distance of a brand spanking new direct service which looking to not only further reduce overheads associated with long-haul, transatlantic air travel but make that famous Bostonian hospitality more accessible than ever.

And once operational you can bet there will be plenty of bargain tickets up for grabs.

Good(will) luck hunting…

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