JetBlue have announced an expansion of their most popular service called Mint on their transcontinental routes, which creates an opportunity to introduce competition in east and west coast markets where customers are faced with very little choice in terms of airline operators.
The expansion will bring the Mint experience to 4 cities for the first time in the airline’s history: Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, San Diego & Seattle while they are to increase customer options from New York’s JFK, Boston, Los Angeles and San Fransisco accordingly. The Mint service is offered on the airline’s new Airbus A321 aircraft.
“Mint helped traditional business class travelers realize there is a better way,” said Robin Hayes, president and chief executive officer, JetBlue. “Our plan has long called for strategic growth of Mint on these valuable transcontinental routes, and now is the right time for us to capture this opportunity to bring much needed competition where customers are facing dwindling choices.”
The new city parings will add JetBlue’s Mint service to seven transcontinental routes between:
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Los Angeles (LAX)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and San Francisco
- Las Vegas and New York (JFK)
- San Diego and New York (JFK)
- San Diego and Boston
- Seattle and New York (JFK)
- Seattle and Boston
The Mint aircraft have the longest fully-flat bed seating in the US domestic premium market with fully enclosed private suites and a 15 inch flat screen TV which has complimentary entertainment options.
This expansion can be seen more of a tactical play by the airline in terms of East Coast operations. Following the failure of trying to acquire Virgin America, JetBlue have most likely added expansion on these routes in order to go head to head with Alaska Airlines, who bought the airline not long ago. It will be interesting to see whether these routes will be successful for the airline but also whether it will play a part in making Virgin America & Alaska struggle in the East Coast market.