Beyond London? JetBlue Orders The Longer Range A321XLR

by Chris Dong

For months and months, JetBlue teased their new transatlantic service which the airline finally announced to the world this past April. With the announcement, we now know for certain that JetBlue plans to start service to a London airport (unknown as to which one) from both Boston and New York in 2021.

At the time back in April, JetBlue converted their order for Airbus A321neos to A321LRs. Now, they’re converting that order again.

The Airbus A321XLR

With the Paris Air Show currently in full swing, the most popular aircraft that airlines are scooping up left and right is the A321XLRs, an extra long range version of the A321LR with a larger fuel tank. The plane allows for 15% greater range, up to 600 nautical miles more than the A321LR.

The plane will allow airlines to fly a more efficient, single aisle plane on routes thought to not be previously possible. For many airlines, like American which announced its order for 50 A321XLRs yesterday, it opens the door for more direct flights to secondary cities in Europe. And for American in particular, they can have a more direct replacement for the soon-to-be-retired Boeing 757.

JetBlue Converts Its Order Again

Now, JetBlue has decided to convert its order for 13 A321LRs to A321XLRs. This extra range will allow for the potential to fly from Boston and New York to points beyond Western Europe.

The A321XLR allows JetBlue to evaluate new transatlantic options as the airline explores additional destinations it may serve in Europe. The XLR opens up possibilities for service between the northeast U.S. and destinations in south, central and northern Europe.

A321XLR range from New York and Fort Lauderdale

Essentially, JetBlue wants to ensure that they don’t hamstring themselves in the future should they decide to serve more European destinations from its Boston and New York hubs.

Although not announced, the A321XLR also allows for JetBlue to fly transatlantic from other cities beyond the Northeast US should it want to, like its hub at Fort Lauderdale. It also creates possibilities for direct flights deeper within South America.

I’m excited to see what JetBlue announces with its impending service to Europe, but 2021 still seems a far ways off. Airline officials are confident that they will drive prices lower. “Like London, JetBlue will explore European cities that suffer from high fares or mediocre service and those which are effectively controlled by legacy carriers and their massive joint ventures.” That’s good news for customers like us. Thanks A321XLR.

See Also: Will JetBlue Founder’s New Airline ‘Moxy’ Beat JetBlue To Europe?

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