JetBlue and WestJet Begin Their Own New Chapters on the Same Day

Skift Take

The differentiation between low-cost carriers and their network rivals in North America is becoming murkier as business class services and international service are going mainstream.

— Dennis Schaal

Two low cost carriers, America’s JetBlue and Canada’s WestJet, separately made history for themselves on June 15, and that highlights how the aviation market is changing.

JetBlue operated its first flight Sunday with Mint business class service from JFK in New York to LAX in Los Angeles on the airline’s new A321.

This is the first time JetBlue, which has sought to create a middle ground between low cost carriers of the Spirit or Ryanair mode and legacy airlines, has offered business class service.

Launched with a single daily flight, JetBlue plans to have Mint service as part of all of its JFK-LAX flights by August 3, and will expand the service to JFK to San Francisco by October 26 as it tries to attract business travelers and undercut the competition with introductory $599 fares one-way.

Meanwhile, for the first time in its 18-year history, WestJet was to debut its first transatlantic flight this afternoon, from Toronto to Dublin, with a stop in St. John’s.

WestJet introduced selling the flights in June in both directions with introductory $199 fares one-way.

In addition to the Toronto-Dublin roundtrips with the stop in St. John’s, WestJet is also operating St. John’s-Dublin nonstops.

WestJet believes the transatlantic flights will be used by leisure and business travelers, offering the opportunity for the airline to expand service to other international destinations.

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