JetBlue Airways premium product “Mint” which is offered on dedicated new A321 aircraft to Florida, with new service between Fort Lauderdale and California beginning in 2017. Ironically all seven new Mint routes announced today by the company are served by either Alaska Airlines or Virgin America. JetBlue attempted to take Virgin America over in the last month, but the California-based airline instead closed a deal with Alaska Airlines. The combined carrier that will result from the Alaska-Virgin merger will be arguably the strongest on the Pacific Coast.
Since JetBlue’s core strengths lie on the east coast, a Virgin merger was logical but instead now have to fight a stronger competitor on the most lucrative routes in the country – the east-west transcontinental ones that shuttle business travelers from one coast to another.
Here is a portion of the JetBlue statement:
“Mint helped traditional business class travelers realize there is a better way,” said Robin Hayes, president and chief executive officer, JetBlue. “Our plan has long called for strategic growth of Mint on these valuable transcontinental routes, and now is the right time for us to capture this opportunity to bring much needed competition where customers are facing dwindling choices.”
Since launching in 2014, Mint has become a favorite way for celebrities, technology executives, creatives, and entrepreneurs to travel across the country. Mint’s highly personalized service, lie-flat seating, and curated food and amenities – all offered at an accessible price – has opened the door to premium travel for customers shut out by the high cost of traditional airline offerings. Mint was recognized by Fast Company’s Innovation By Design Awards, which honors innovative and disruptive design that pushes boundaries and seeks to change the world.
JetBlue has already expanded Mint routes based on its early popularity on the initial routes between New York-Los Angeles and New York-San Francisco. It recently launched service from Boston, and is growing both seasonal and year-round Mint service in the Caribbean, with flights to Barbados, Aruba, St. Lucia and St. Maarten.
The new city parings will add JetBlue’s Mint service to seven transcontinental routes between:
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Los Angeles (LAX)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and San Francisco
- Las Vegas and New York (JFK)
- San Diego and New York (JFK)
- San Diego and Boston
- Seattle and New York (JFK)
- Seattle and Boston