A brand new line of Airbus A320s may push JetBlue Airways, largely a U.S. and Caribbean carrier, into the European flight market, according to a Bloomberg report.
The details are still fluid, but JetBlue has a very loyal following and a potential move into the European market would have huge ripple effects throughout the industry.
Here are more details from Bloomberg:
“JetBlue is positioning itself to grab some market share in a European expansion that could start by 2019. The airline said on Tuesday it has taken options to convert 15 Airbus A321neo (new engine option) aircraft to the manufacturer’s newest variant in its A320 family, the A321LR, a single-aisle plane with pond-crossing capacity. Fitted with the kind of Mint premium cabin JetBlue launched two years ago from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco, the new A321 would offer an opportunity for lucrative growth and transatlantic disruption, a word company executives used repeatedly to describe the opportunity.
JetBlue executives stressed that their options for the A321LR were merely contractual obligations required of its order book, and said that no decision will occur before the end of next year. Nonetheless, new JetBlue flights to Europe could jostle the transatlantic status quo.”
This is yet another reason why jumbo jets have become less attractive to airlines. The smaller planes are becoming more fuel efficient and cheaper to operate.
The European travel market is already being disrupted by Norwegian Airlines, which is operating low-cost flights from the U.S. to Europe on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.