It appears that JetBlue‘s A321LR deliveries are extending more than previously planned. The airline recently updated its schedules for London service, swapping out the A321LR for an A321neo on the second daily flight to London’s Gatwick Airport, slated to launch at the end of October.
The company confirmed the scheduling swap:
We have scheduled our JetBlue Airbus A321neo with Mint to operate select flights between the U.S. and London in the coming months and we anticipate the aircraft will be ETOPS certified in the weeks ahead.
Launch of the London routes from Boston was delayed earlier this summer, also owing to A321LR delivery delays. But as recently as the company’s last earnings call it seemed that deliveries were on schedule. Or at least on a schedule that matched route planning expectations. With the recent change, however, that no longer appears to be the case.
Flight B6 2143, the 6:10pm departure from JFK, shows the new configuration, including just 16 Mint seats rather than the 24 found on the A321LR configuration. It also includes 144 economy class seats, 30 more than the 114 on the LR.
Most of the passenger amenities should be nearly identical. The planes have the same seat pitch, in-flight entertainment, on-board WiFi and other amenities. But there is one significant difference to consider: the A321neo/Mint configuration does not have ovens in the rear galley.
This will preclude the company from serving its spectacular build-your-own Dig meals for those travelers. The economy class inflight meal service has been a significant part of JetBlue’s pitch for its London route since before tickets went on sale. And it truly is one of the tastier offerings in the sky.
Rather that the DIY meal arrangement JetBlue will “adjust our complimentary meal service in core to include two, non-Dig meal offerings – a non-vegetarian and vegetarian meal option, both of which come with an entrée, side salad and dessert.” These meals will be served cold.
Free drinks, including beer, wine, and liquor, remain on offer.
The adjusted service is expected to run from 29 October through the 18 December departure to London and its return to JFK on the 19th, according to schedule data from Cirium.
It also remains unclear if this will affect timing of the carrier’s plans to add a new European market later this year and launch it in the first half of 2023.
More on JetBlue’s bumpy road to London service:
- JetBlue delays Boston-London launch
- JetBlue snags slots for London-Boston flights
- JetBlue secures permanent Heathrow slots, expands London operations
- JetBlue’s Surprise & Delight: A321LR goes domestic
- JetBlue boosts coach experience for London service
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