US carrier JetBlue has appointed sales and representation specialist Discover the World to oversee sales in the UK ahead of the launch of its long-awaiting London transatlantic flight programme.
Senior sales manager Claire Herbert, formerly of Finnair and Aeromexico, will head up the UK sales team, supported by sales executive Alexandra "Axel" Joyce, who brings experience of working with UK-based TMC Reed & Mackay and New Zealand’s BCD Travel.
Together, Herbert and Joyce will serve as point of contact for UK TMCs and leisure agents looking to book JetBlue’s London-Boston and London-New York JFK flights, which are expected to launch in the summer.
On Monday (19 April), JetBlue granted a scheduled foreign carrier permit by the CAA, giving it permission to operate in UK airspace.
JetBlue has secured slots at Heathrow, and is understood to hold options for slots at Gatwick and Stansted. It last month reiterated it had "a viable path into more than one London airport".
"JetBlue is a challenger brand and provides customers with an extraordinary product at disruptive fares," said JetBlue general manager, Europe, Maja Gedosev.
"Our new transatlantic product is the result of enormous research over the last few years. London will be JetBlue’s first ’BlueCity’ across the pond, and we are confident we have chosen the right partner to make it a success.
Ian Murray, chief executive of Discover the World – Global, added: "JetBlue’s new transatlantic routes will provide a welcome change of narrative for the trade with an inspiring new product.
"We know TMCs and leisure agents are crying out for a great new offering they can genuinely be enthusiastic about. JetBlue will offer a sustainable, safe and affordable route back to the States."
Iata has certified JetBlue as a BSP – billing and settlement plan – airline in the UK, with agents invited to request ticketing authority with the JetBlue team.
Agents can currently book JetBlue flights operating in the America, with its transatlantic flights to follow shortly.
Details of JetBlue’s transatlantic fares, schedules, and which London airport it will fly to, will be announced at a later date.