What are some important facts about JetBlue

The JetBlue effect: flying in style - at affordable prices


The low-cost airline JetBlue Airways is driving down prices on all of its routes, but still offers customers many amenities - soon also on transatlantic flights.

03.2020 | Author: Victoria Nicholls

Victoria Nicholls reports within MTU corporate communications on topics such as engine MRO, leasing and asset management as well as international market trends. Born in Britain, she lives in Berlin and works at the MTU locations in Hanover and Ludwigsfelde.

If Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue Airways, could change one thing about air travel, he would bring the glamor back. Over time, under cost pressure, airlines have foregone more and more additional services and luxury, he says. “I had one of my best flying experiences in a Concorde,” reports Hayes. “But today flights are almost reminiscent of bus journeys. The flair is missing. ”However, JetBlue shows that there is another way. “We're making flying a pleasure again,” adds Hayes. The customer shouldn't have to choose between service and low prices, says the CEO. He proudly points out that JetBlue offers the greatest legroom in the economy class in the USA, as well as free drinks, snacks and high-speed WiFi on board.

Robin Hayes: CEO of JetBlue Airways, has been with the airline since 2008 and took over at the top of the company in 2015. Before that, the native British worked for British Airways in various roles for 19 years. The qualified engineer and avionics specialist has been working in the aviation industry for over 30 years.

Despite the amenities offered by JetBlue, some things cannot be avoided when flying - unfortunately this includes jetlag. Hayes tip is to adjust to the time zone of the destination as soon as possible. For example, if he flies from New York to London at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time), where it is already 1 a.m., he tries to fall asleep as soon as possible after boarding.

This trick should be particularly helpful when JetBlue also offers transatlantic flights from the USA from the beginning of 2021. The plan is currently for flights from New York, the airline's headquarters, and Boston, New England, to London. With 26 A321 Long Range (LR) and Xtra Long Range (XLR) already ordered by JetBlue, Hayes is confident that additional European routes will follow. He also has other destinations in Latin America in his sights.

In addition to the LR and XLR machines, more than 120 A220 and A321neo were also ordered, which will strengthen JetBlue's existing fleet of 60 E190s and almost 200 A320 and A321s.

The secret ingredient

In Hayes' eyes, JetBlue stands out from the competition primarily through its corporate culture. Motivated and enthusiastic employees are important to him, "because a satisfied crew transfers this feeling to the customers and provides better service". When the opportunity arises, he sits down with the cockpit crew for a short chat and also lends a hand himself when the aircraft is being cleaned at the airport before the onward flight. "For us, every member of the JetBlue crew lends a hand after landing, regardless of whether they are a flight attendant or chief executive officer." For this reason, he prefers to sit in the aisle than at the window - from here he can help out more quickly. Hayes also travels to Florida every two weeks to attend the new employee onboarding event.

The concept seems to be bearing fruit. 2019 was a great year for JetBlue: The company's share price rose by almost 20 percent and brought shareholders a decent price gain. In a consolidated region like North America, where four long-established airlines hold 80 percent of the market, that's a remarkable achievement. With a current market share of five percent, JetBlue offers an important alternative for customers in Hayes' eyes. “When two established airlines compete on one route, in the end it comes down to who can ask more of the two. But when JetBlue operates this route, prices go down. When we introduced JetBlue Mint for flights from the northeast to the west coast of the USA in 2014, the prices for premium flights were halved and the market grew. "

JetBlue Mint: The more personalized service is tailored to the needs of the modern traveler.

Hayes also sees this development for transatlantic flights in the near future. “The prices are obscenely high. The time has come for a low-cost provider who disciplines the market, lowers prices and increases availability. So travelers can look forward to it. "

Prices going downhill

When passing on cost advantages to customers, the airline must of course ensure that its own cost base is as economical as possible. JetBlue has set itself the goal of reducing its costs by USD 250 to 300 million annually by 2020. Against this background, the airline signed an exclusive 13-year contract with MTU for the V2500 pre-select fleet, which powered around half of its 193 Airbus A320ceo in 2019. In order to prevent costly engine overhauls, the contract includes the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the engines as well as the provision of green-time engines and leasing engines. In addition, MTU JetBlue supports fleet management and offers services such as engine trend monitoring and the dismantling and recycling of serviceable parts. This increases profitability, predictability and flexibility. The cooperation between the two companies began in 2005 with a V2500 contract and was expanded in 2014 with a component agreement.

The JetBlue effect: Flying in style - at affordable prices.

The JetBlue effect: Flying in style - at affordable prices.

For most airlines, and therefore also for JetBlue, the engine MRO is the biggest driver in terms of maintenance costs. “We wanted to negotiate the best possible deal for JetBlue. It was hard work, but we would never compromise on quality, safety or reliability, ”explains Hayes.

"Since we outsource a large part of our maintenance, service providers are important partners for us and not just providers," he continues. “Our relationship with MTU is therefore very important to us. MTU understands our needs and we have a common sense of values. That helps both sides to be successful. "

The future of the industry

But in addition to costs, airlines around the world have another topic that is a topic of conversation everywhere and in the media: sustainability. With CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), for example, the aviation industry is committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions to half of the 2005 levels by 2050. "As an industry, we have to use newer and more fuel-efficient engines, for example the geared turbofan, which reduces fuel consumption by 16 to 20 percent," explains Hayes, referring to the A320neo PW1100G-JM engine, in which MTU has an 18 percent share in the program. There is also a great need for a market for sustainable fuels. “We also need more efficient air traffic control systems around the world. If planes have to hold holding patterns in the air waiting for permission to land, it is not very efficient. The current system is safe and works, but is based on old technology. ”JetBlue continues to support the US aviation authority (FAA) with the introduction of the“ Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) ”. NextGen will enable more direct routes and reduce fuel consumption by optimizing flight times and improving approach patterns.

"JetBlue's goal for 2020 and beyond is clear: travel faster, more environmentally friendly and more comfortably".

Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue Airways

With JetBlue Technology Ventures, JetBlue is also active in the start-up market. “We're taking our original mission of making traveling more enjoyable to a whole new level: We want to improve the entire travel experience, whether on the plane or in other modes of transport, from A to Z,” explains Hayes.

JetBlue's goal for 2020 and beyond is clear: “Travel faster, more environmentally friendly and more comfortable”.