JetBlue is at it again. One month after opening bookings for its new flights from New York to Paris (with starting rates of $479 round-trip—much-needed relief to the soaring international airfares), the low-cost airline revealed today it would add a third Europe destination to its network: Amsterdam.
Starting in late summer 2023, JetBlue will begin new service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), which will be followed by flights between Boston and Amsterdam. (Precise dates for the Boston flights are TBA.) The low-fare Amsterdam flights will go on sale “in the coming weeks,” according to JetBlue.
When the Amsterdam flights take off (they are still subject to final government approval), they will occur daily on Airbus A321 LR (long-range) aircraft—narrow-body aircraft that can fly longer and farther than previous iterations of the model. They still make room for 24 Mint seats, JetBlue’s version of business class with lie-flat seats, and 114 economy seats. The flights will also feature JetBlue signatures such as “the most legroom in coach,” seatback screens at every seat with live and on-demand TV and entertainment, and free Wi-Fi, snacks, and beverages.
JetBlue first teased its Amsterdam plans in March when the Paris flights went live. “It’s a constrained airport that’s slot controlled [and] that’s dominated by legacy carriers. We’d like to continue to be that disruptor that comes in and serves the customers in those communities with a better experience at low fares,” JetBlue’s president and COO Joanna Geraghty told AFAR last month.
In a statement, JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes added, “For too long the U.S. legacy carriers, backed by their joint ventures with other global airlines that enjoy immunity from antitrust laws, have locked customers in with very expensive fares and mediocre service.”
All the “big three” U.S. airlines have formal partnerships with European carriers to provide more seamless connections between the continents. American Airlines is part of the oneworld Alliance, which includes British Airways, and Delta Air Lines partners with Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic for transatlantic flights. United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance network, which includes Lufthansa, Austrian, and TAP Air Portugal.
JetBlue is upping its efforts to compete with them via its growing transatlantic service, which includes flights between New York and Paris, that will be joined by nonstop service between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and CDG.
JetBlue first entered the transatlantic market in August 2021 when it snapped up slots at London Heathrow that had temporarily opened up as travel halted during the pandemic. Last summer, the airline successfully sought permission to make the slots more permanent. On October 29, JetBlue added a second daily flight between New York’s JFK and London Gatwick (where it started service later in 2021), bringing the number of trips between New York and London to three per day. JetBlue flights from Boston to Gatwick kicked off in August, followed by Boston to Heathrow flights in September.
News of JetBlue’s Amsterdam expansion comes after a Dutch court last week ruled that the Dutch government overreached when it aimed to cap air traffic at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, a legal decision that JetBlue said gave the carrier “confidence there is room for it to enter the market.”