JetBlue Launches Daytime Flights to London, Delta Rolls Out free Wi-Fi

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JetBlue plans to increase its presence in the UK with its first daytime eastbound transatlantic flight to Heathrow Airport in London from March 25, the US low-cost carrier said in a press release.

The new service will complement the current outbound flight from JFK, leaving New York at 8:30 am local time and arriving in London in the evening. The return flight departs from London at 8:25 am local time to arrive in New York before noon. As JetBlue needs more Airbus A321Rs, the airline will limit the number of its daily transatlantic flights to five.

News JetBlue Launches Daytime Flights to London, Delta Rolls Out free Wi-Fi
JetBlue Launches Daytime Flights to London, Delta Rolls Out free Wi-Fi

JetBlue also intends to reduce its flights from New York JFK to London Gatwick from two per day to one per day. However, its daily services from Boston to both Heathrow and Gatwick airports will remain unaffected by the changes.

Most eastbound transatlantic flights depart from the US in the afternoon or evening to arrive across the pond the next day. This schedule often limits the connection options for travelers on both ends. However, industry sources said that the demand between the financial hubs New York and London is large enough to fill an aircraft.

Separately, in cooperation with T-Mobile, Delta Airlines will roll out free Wi-Fi to 80% of its domestic routes from February 1, CEO Ed Bastian said at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“It’s going to be free, it’s going to be fast, and it’s going to be available for everyone,” Bastian said, highlighting that the air carrier has invested more than USD 1 billion in wireless technology over the past few years.

Members of Delta’s free SkyMiles loyalty program will benefit from the onboard internet connection. However, non-members will have to pay a flat fee of USD 10, Bastian added.

At launch, the free Wi-Fi service will be available to more than 500 of Delta’s most popular domestic flights. However, its wide-body international and smaller regional aircraft will be ready for launch by the end of 2024.

Currently, Delta charges nearly USD 50 per month for internet connection on domestic flights and USD 70 for international routes. The airline has been testing the options for in-flight Wi-Fi for several years. In 2017, it made messaging free.

Delta’s main competitors, United Airlines and American Airlines, have been charging varying fees for internet access onboard. For example, United Airlines charges frequent flyers USD 8 and USD 10 for the rest. Low-cost carrier Southwest also charges USD 8, while its competitor JetBlue offers Wi-Fi for free. In addition, CNBC noted that Hawaiian Airlines intends to roll out free internet connection with SpaceX’s Starling later this year. Therefore, Delta is the first of the so-called ”Big Three” air carriers to offer a free internet connection.

Sources familiar with the matter told CNN that Delta hopes to boost its loyalty program, which currently has more than 100 million members. In October last year, Delta teamed with Starbucks and started awarding 1 mile for each dollar spent at the coffee chain. Furthermore, the CEO said Delta would unveil some new in-flight entertainment systems in the summer.

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