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Low fares and fast ‘Fly-Fi’ from Dublin Airport to New York – will JetBlue shake up


US airline JetBlue will fly from Dublin to New York and Boston next summer. What will that mean for passengers?

US airline JetBlue is making some big promises for its new transatlantic routes, set to take off between Dublin Airport, New York and Boston next year.

While more choice and competition will be welcomed by consumers, however, it remains to be seen how much difference an extra 160 seats a day to each of these US airports will actually make, especially in a climate of rising airfares.

Here’s a look at transatlantic’s newest take-off.

What has JetBlue announced?

JetBlue will fly daily between Dublin Airport and New York’s JFK, and between Dublin and Boston’s Logan International, from March 13 and 14 of next year.

Its Dublin to JFK flights will depart at 11.45am (arriving 3.25pm), with the return legs leaving New York at 9.30pm and arriving the following morning at 8.15am.

Boston flights will depart Dublin at 11.30am and Boston at 10.30pm.

The flights will be seasonal, running through the 2024 summer season to September 30.

JetBlue is coming to Dublin Airport

How much will it cost?

A limited sale sees fares between Dublin and New York and Boston starting from €399 in economy and €1,499 in business, JetBlue says.

The sale has its T&Cs, however – requiring round-trip purchases and Saturday night stays, for example.

And they may not be easy to find – a scan of fares available next March, April and May on Jetblue.com throws up lead-in prices of $226/€214 from Dublin to New York, for example, and $195/€184 for the return journey.

This isn’t a return to the days of €69 flights to the US, in other words.

How does JetBlue differ from other airlines?

“Customer-focused, low-fare travel for leisure and business travellers” – that’s the JetBlue model, and it’s an angle that has proved popular in the US.

The new transatlantic flights from Dublin Airport will be operated with Airbus A321neo aircraft – the longer-range narrowbody planes also used by Aer Lingus on some of its US routes.

These don’t have a middle galley area with extra loos, and the single aisle for boarding, disembarking and service means moving around is not as easy as it is in wider, twin-aisle aircraft. The planes can be more fuel-efficient and quieter than larger alternatives, however.

JetBlue’s Dublin services will have 144 ‘Core’ (economy class) and 16 ‘Mint’ (business class) seats.

Core customers can look forward to “a boutique-style experience”, it says, with meals from NYC-based restaurant DIG included in the fares.

TV screens are 10.1”, and it says its Wi-Fi is “fast, free and unlimited”. Bags are included in the fares.

JetBlue’s Mint cabin

Mint, its business class experience, features fully lie-flat private suites with a sliding door. It promises “restaurant-style meals” with dishes from New York restaurants Charlie Bird, Pasquale Jones and Legacy Records restaurants and a custom playlist with main meals.

“It’s like dining in NYC’s SoHo while being so high in the sky,” it chimes.

Mint seats do get good reviews from frequent flyers, and come with direct aisle access, 17” TVs and good work space.

Tell me more about JetBlue…

JetBlue entered the US market in 1999 as a disruptor, selling economy class-only flights but seeking to carve out a reputation for better-than-expected service.

Today, it’s the sixth-largest airline in the US, flying to over 100 destinations throughout the Americas as well as Amsterdam, London and Paris. It will also add new routes to Edinburgh in 2024.

“The success of our transatlantic service proves customers don’t have to choose between low fares and great service,” said its CEO, Robin Hayes.

JetBlue’s Mint cabin

Will it shake up transatlantic travel?

That remains to be seen.

Disruptor airlines have come and gone from Ireland, as anyone who recalls Norwegian’s budget flights from Dublin and Cork airports will recall.

Iceland’s Wow Air also ran cheap, one-stop flights to US airports via Reykjavík before it collapsed in 2019. Iceland’s Play is now offering similar propositions, with flights from Dublin to New York via Reykjavík starting from around €123 each-way (without bags or meals) in the coming months, for example. Adding bags and seat selection can bump up the fares by over €100 each-way, however.

JetBlue brings more heft than both, and its model is not solely about low fares, so it will certainly be watched with interest. But it does face strong competition from Aer Lingus, which has much more capacity and larger Airbus A330s on the routes, as well as from Delta and United.

Aer Lingus has a sale this week advertising flights from €179 each-way to New York and Boston from March 14 to May 22 of next year – so it has definitely noticed the news. But as any savvy traveller will know, finding those fares on dates that suit your travel plans is another story.

An extra 160 seats a day may not make much of a difference, but if customers buy into the JetBlue model, finding the fares and service good value, larger planes and more capacity may follow.

Then the real transatlantic wars can begin.



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