In a move it’s claimed will ‘shake up transatlantic premium air travel’, low-cost American airline JetBlue this summer is launching flights to London for the first time.
The services will be operated by a long-range version of the single-aisle Airbus A321 aircraft, which will be fitted out with 24 individual reimagined ‘Mint’ suites, including two first-class ‘Mint Studio’ seats at the front that the airline claims have ‘the largest lie-flat bed of any U.S carrier’.
Both designs were conceptualised by London-based Acumen Design Associates and developed in partnership with another UK studio, Aim Altitude.
JetBlue this summer is launching flights to London for the first time, using long-range A321 aircraft. At the front will be two first-class ‘Mint Studio’ seats, pictured, which JetBlue says have the biggest lie-flat bed of any U.S carrier
The Mint Studio seat will feature 22-inch Thales ‘Avant’ tilting seatback screens and a guest seat
The Mint Studio seat, which New York-based JetBlue says is the ‘pinnacle of space and privacy’, will feature 22-inch Thales ‘Avant’ tilting seatback screens, an extra side table and a guest seat that can accommodate an additional passenger during flight at cruising altitude.
The ‘regular’ Mint suites, meanwhile, will feature tilting 17-inch Thales Avant screens, wireless charging capabilities, an integrated phone ledge ‘for multitasking’, ‘easy-to-reach in-seat power’, as well as laptop, shoe and handbag stowage.
All the premium seats will feature direct aisle access, sliding privacy doors, gate-to-gate in-flight entertainment and seat cushions by posh mattress company Tuft & Needle, which is also providing blankets, memory-foam pillows and snooze kits with matching eye mask and earplugs.
The ‘regular’ Mint suites, pictured, will feature tilting 17-inch Thales Avant screens as well as laptop, shoe and handbag stowage
All the premium seats will feature sliding privacy doors and seat cushions by posh mattress company Tuft & Needle. Pictured is a row of Mint suites
Pictured is a Mint suite in lie-flat-bed mode. The prices for the new transatlantic flights, the London airport they will fly to and from and the exact cabin layout have yet to be revealed
JetBlue adds that ‘residential textures’, such as flannel-covers on the privacy dividers, concrete lampshades, woodgrain table patterns and soft, vegan leather-covered seats and headrests, ‘[will] make customers feel at home in the air’.
Daniel Clucas, Senior Designer at Acumen Design Associates, said: ‘JetBlue has a long-standing reputation for being bold when it comes to innovation and putting its customers at the heart of its brand, which was key in enabling us to reimagine the single-aisle premium experience. By reclaiming the unused space at the front row, Mint Studio offers customers an enhanced flying experience – one which will quickly become the gold standard for narrow-body business class.’
The ‘Mint’ experience debuted in 2014, with JetBlue hailing it as a ‘fresh take on premium travel at an “unpremium” price’.
‘Mint was an idea to make premium travel across the U.S. less stuffy and more affordable, and its performance has exceeded even our most optimistic expectations of going beyond New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco,’ said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue.
‘It’s remarkable how Mint’s thoughtful design has resonated with customers as we successfully grew it to more than 30 routes. We put our heart into this redesign of Mint and were inspired by our original vision of offering customers an exceptional experience at a lower fare – which is what JetBlue is all about.’
JetBlue says its London flights will ‘shake up transatlantic premium air travel’. Above is a stock image of an A321 at JFK Airport
A 16-seat version of the new Mint experience will debut on a limited number of flights between New York and Los Angeles in 2021.
The prices for the new transatlantic flights, the London airport they will fly to and from and the exact cabin layout have yet to be revealed.
Hayley Berg, an economist at Hopper, said two years ago when JetBlue first revealed its transatlantic plans: ‘Historically, JetBlue has caused prices to drop by 12 per cent when it enters an international market, so we’re expecting a comparable drop once it starts servicing flights to London.’
Norwegian Air recently said it will end its transatlantic flights that less than a decade ago challenged long-established rivals and seek government help.
U.S. airlines have received $40billion (£29billion) in federal payroll aid, much of that in the form of grants that do not have to be repaid, under two separate Covid-19 relief packages, and a separate $25billion (£18billion) in low-interest government loans.