JetBlue’s hopes of launching London transatlantic flights later this year took a major step forward on Monday (19 April) after the CAA gave its plans the go-ahead.
The US carrier has become the first to be issued a scheduled foreign carrier permit by the authority since UK’s departure from the EU at the start of the year.
JetBlue has, for some time, been seeking an in at one of London’s airports; earlier this month, it was revealed JetBlue had secured 270 slots at Heathrow Terminal 2 for its proposed New York JFK and Boston services.
It is understood JetBlue had previously secured slots at Gatwick and Stansted too.
Speaking at WTM Virtual last November, JetBlue boss Robin Hayes pledged to significantly reduce premium fares on routes between New York and London.
JetBlue’s London transatlantic services could launch as early as this summer. "We’ve always said we have a viable path into more than one London airport," said the airline in a statement last month.
On Monday, the CAA confirmed it had provided regulatory approval to JetBlue, which will allow it to operate transatlantic routes between London, New York and Boston.
"This approval marks the first scheduled foreign carrier permit that has been issued to a new operator since the UK’s exit from the European Union," said the CAA in a statement.
A JetBlue spokesperson said: "We are delighted to have received regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Authority and thank them for granting us foreign carrier permits. This brings us one step closer to launching our new JetBlue transatlantic service between the US and London later this year.
"The need for JetBlue’s low fares and exceptional service – particularly on transatlantic routes dominated by a handful of mega-carriers charging high fares – will be more needed than ever as the global travel market recovers. Details on launch dates, schedules and fares will be announced soon."
All non-UK carriers wishing to operate commercial services to, from, or within, the United Kingdom are required to hold a foreign carrier permit before any flight is undertaken.
Aer Lingus is understood to be awaiting approval for its proposed new Manchester transatlantic services to the US and the Caribbean, which – like JetBlue – will include flights to New York JFK and Boston.