Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A JetBlue Airways Corp. Airbus A321 plane taxis outside of Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in completely new York, U.S., on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
JetBlue Airways appears to be gearing up to announce service across the Atlantic as soon as Wednesday, an expansion of which the completely new York-based carrier views an an opportunity to undercut entrenched rivals with its cheaper business-class service.
The low-cost airline will be scheduled to hold an “all hands” meeting with staff at John F. Kennedy Airport along with “viewing parties” at some of its main hubs around the U.S. on Wednesday afternoon, according to a company invitation obtained by CNBC. A save-the-date email announcing the April 10 event featured a background pattern similar to upholstery on London’s subway. Buttons featuring JetBlue’s logo as well as iconic London sights of Big Ben as well as the London Eye were sent to JetBlue offices, according to one employee.
The company’s shares jumped by about 4% in after-hours trading on the news.
JetBlue may add service to London although its plans could include additional routes to European cities by its completely new York as well as Boston hubs.
JetBlue declined to confirm whether the item would likely make an announcement Wednesday although said in a statement, “Potential routes to Europe could provide us an opportunity to grow our focus cities of Boston as well as completely new York as we consider the best use of our aircraft by a margin perspective in those cities.”
The move would likely pit the low-cost carrier against large international airlines like Delta, American, United as well as their European partners who dominate trans-Atlantic travel. A key part of JetBlue’s strategy in serving Europe would likely be its favorite Mint business class, which features lie-flat seats as well as some suites with sliding doors as well as premium meals.
“When we think about trans-Atlantic, we do think we can disrupt largely around a Mint-like product because we’ve been so successful on flying to the West Coast with Mint,” Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president as well as COO said last September.
The trans-Atlantic market, “especially inside the premium category, suffers by the same lack of competition as well as high fares of which [transcontinental] routes inside the U.S. saw before JetBlue introduced Mint,” JetBlue’s statement said Tuesday.
A long-range variant of the Airbus A321 plane would likely likely be used to help JetBlue fly across the Atlantic as well as the airline said the item would likely make a decision on of which plane This particular year.