Courtesy of Airbus

One of travelers' favorite airlines in the U.S. could be headed to Europe.

July 26, 2016

JetBlue has placed an order for 30 Airbus A321s, which could set the airline up to expand overseas.

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said that some of the airplanes on order could be configured for trans-Atlantic travel, offering the “potential to consider markets in Europe,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We certainly see Europe as a great opportunity,” Marty St. George, JetBlue's executive vice president for planning, told Bloomberg. “Our intention is that will be a plane that will give us trans-Atlantic range.”

At least 5 of the first A321s on order will be outfitted with Mint—JetBlue's take on Business Class, with lie-flat seats, Birchbox-curated amenity kits, and seasonal menus. Mint is only available on select routes in the U.S. and Caribbean right now, but JetBlue says the premium cabin will be available on flights to 13 destinations by 2017.

The airline has until the end of 2017 to decide whether or not to upgrade some of the aircraft with extra fuel tanks and sturdier landing gear, which would allow JetBlue to launch new routes to Europe.

Virgin America offers an prior example: The airline, which was recently acquired by Alaska Airlines, uses an Airbus A320 configured for over-ocean travel to fly to Hawaii.

In addition to ordering the aircraft, JetBlue would need to seek certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly across the Atlantic.

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.

 

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