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After weeks, months, and years of rampant speculation, JetBlue finally announced yesterday that it would begin flying to Europe in 2021. While it’s certainly exciting that JetBlue has confirmed the rumors, 2021 is still a long way off.
Gary from View From The Wing thinks that with all the unknowns, the announcement is barely even news at this point. What London airport will JetBlue fly to? What product will it be? What’s the frequency of service? When exactly in 2021?
There’s a lot that JetBlue either doesn’t know — or just wouldn’t say. And there’s competition incoming, like from JetBlue’s own founder…
JetBlue’s Founder Has An Airline That Launches In 2021
JetBlue founder David Neeleman left the company back in 2008. He is, by all meanings of the definition, a serial entrepreneur. Neeleman started up or has been involved in six airlines around the world at this point, and his latest venture (his seventh) is a new US-based airline temporarily dubbed “Moxy.”
Neeleman’s differentiator with Moxy is to fly to smaller, less served airports in the U.S. so he won’t have to compete with legacy airline hubs. He already placed firm orders with Airbus for 60 A220-300 earlier this year. That aircraft has a range of 3,200 miles, enough for flights to places not just on this side of the Atlantic…
Does Moxy Plan To Fly To Europe?
Like JetBlue’s announcement about transatlantic service, Neeleman hasn’t given much detail about where exactly his airline would fly to. However, in several interviews in the past year, Neeleman has hinted that besides point-to-point domestic services, he’d also want to have international flights — including to Europe.
[With the range of the A220], I can go from the Midwest to Hawaii, I can go from the Midwest to Portugal, or I could go from Florida to any place in Brazil. I could go transcontinental, or I could fly from North Carolina to Florida. That’s what gives us the edge.
According to Skift, Europe is indeed in Neeleman’s plans. He plans to fly from the US to Europe as well as South America and avoid competitor hubs. The A220 has the ability to use “really short runways, and can fly for 11 hours,” Neeleman said.
The Timing Of It All
So both JetBlue’s transatlantic service and JetBlue founder’s airline will kickoff sometime in 2021. I suspect Neeleman’s airline will launch with domestic service initially to iron out any operational kinks, etc. However, if Neeleman really wanted to make a public relations splash for his new airline, Moxy could attempt to start its transatlantic operations before JetBlue and steal some of their thunder. That would be some feat to pull off, and I can imagine the headlines like “JetBlue’s Founder Beats JetBlue To Europe.”
Either way, 2021 is sure shaping up to be a fun year for all things JetBlue, both old (their founder) and new (their transatlantic service).
What do you think are the odds of Moxy starting service to Europe before JetBlue?
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