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JetBlue will launch flights from New York and Boston to London in 2021 using long-range Airbus A321 jets, expected to sport private business class suites.
Although the airline hasn't yet confirmed which London airport it will serve, its UK playbook will rely not only on the fuel-efficient Airbus A321LR jets, but also a "reimagined, transatlantic version" of its signature Mint 'premium' business class, with direct aisle access expected from every seat, with a sliding privacy door for each passenger.
That seat is tipped to be Thompson Aero's Vantage Solo, with JetBlue taking honours as launch airline for the next generation of the original Vantage seat which adorns its current A320 Mint cabin (below) and helped JetBlue carve up the US transcontinental market.
Irish seatmaker Thompson Aero created the Solo for the new wave of lie-flat business class on single-aisle Airbus and Boeing jets, and has since added an optional sliding door for to make this a ‘Solo Suite’.
A layout shared by Thompson Aero shows how 16 of the business class suites could fit into the front cabin of a single-aisle jet.
The Solo would be an ideal fit for business travellers shuttling back and forth between two of the world's greatest cities, with everything from HD video screens to ample storage space around the seat, with fast WiFi and suite-style privacy for tackling oft-sensitive work en route.
JetBlue’s European debut will pit the proudly 'disruptive' challenger against top-tier international airlines ranging from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to US carriers American Airlines, Delta and United in an attempt to break their hold on highly-valued corporate flyers.
"The success Mint has had on driving down the exorbitant airfares that our competitors were charging, stimulating new demand, and forcing the entrenched carriers to up their game, is a big reason we believe London is the next natural market for JetBlue," said JetBlue COO Joanna Geraghty.
"The fares being charged today by airlines on these routes, specifically on the premium end, are enough to make you blush."