The much-anticipated launch of JetBlue’s first transatlantic routes has stirred up plenty of interest and has strong potential to be successful. With a new MINT business class and low fares on offer, the carrier will be well positioned to capitalize on rising demand from budget travelers post-COVID-19, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Gus Gardner, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “JetBlue has set its sights on cashing in on the busiest city pair in the world: New York to London. Competition was fierce pre-pandemic on this route, however, JetBlue’s low fares will give it an advantage – especially noting the withdrawal of Norwegian Air from long-haul flights and that other airlines in the space are seeing a drop in capacity. These events will be beneficial for JetBlue to establish a foothold in the market.”
More consumers have become cash strapped, and the transatlantic market is in need of low-cost competition. GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 Recovery Survey showed that 87%* of global respondents were concerned about their personal financial position.
Gardner continues: “Most carriers offer basic economy fares, but JetBlue offers it as standard. The uniformity of the airline’s offering, combined with its friendly service and competitive fares, will see the airline stimulate demand and win customers who may have delayed traveling due to increased financial concerns.”
A poll conducted by GlobalData revealed that 44%** of respondents said their company’s corporate travel budget will significantly be reduced over the next 12 months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gardner adds: “Corporate travelers are likely to see JetBlue as a viable, lower-cost alternative going forward. Lower prices will see the airline attract corporate travelers working for companies with depleted budgets. The new MINT business class and elevated service level will allow the airline to compete on a level playing field with existing carriers. This winning combination will see JetBlue become a disruptive carrier that could substantially shake up the corporate transatlantic travel market.
“However, JetBlue is struggling to secure lucrative slots at London Heathrow. The UK extending its ‘use-it or lose-it’ slot wavier has placed a hurdle in the carrier’s plans. Although it has secured some slots at Gatwick and Stansted, the split of services adds operational costs and complexity the airline will want to avoid. If JetBlue can secure the desired slots at Heathrow, it will be a game changer for the airline’s competitive position.”
* Data taken from GlobalData’s survey of 5,766 global respondents- Fieldwork undertaken 2–6 December 2020. ‘Extremely’, ‘quite’ and ‘slightly’ responses combined.
** GlobalData Poll of 306 respondents, November 2020 to March 2021.