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JetBlue's Mint business class product (photo: JetBlue)

Low-cost transatlantic business class likely

The chief executive of the US carrier JetBlue says the business product Mint could bring “price discipline”.

The Irish Independent newspaper reports on hints that the chief executive of the US low-cost airline JetBlue Airways is dropping that it could soon join the intensifying transatlantic market.

This follows last week’s news that the Irish hybrid mixed-fare carrier Aer Lingus revealed two new routes to North America, Montreal and Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well as Primera Air’s constant stream of announcements about new departure points in Europe for its future flights across the Atlantic.

Ever since Norwegian pioneered low-cost long-haul flights, prices at the lower end of the market have fallen.

The comparison site Skyscanner recently showed a 6% drop in average prices from Ireland to New York since Norwegian launched its one-way fares starting at €99 from Ireland to New York’s Stewart Airport.

Now JetBlue is looking at starting a new bargain model for the transatlantic market, this time for business class.

Heavy hints
CEO Robin Hayes “dropped some heavy hints” in London recently, the Irish Independent says, that JetBlue might roll out its business-class product Mint between Boston and either London Gatwick or Stansted.

JetBlue already partners with Aer Lingus by carrying passengers on onward journeys from the Irish carrier’s transatlantic flights.

Hayes has complained to various media about the “obscene” fares airlines are charging in the business-class market on flights between Europe and North America and claims JetBlue’s Mint product can bring some “price discipline”.

Mint is already available on routes between the US coasts and to the Caribbean, with lie-flat beds, free wifi, “artisanal” food and lower prices.

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