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JetBlue's Mint to Beef Up Comfort Travel

Zacks Equity Research

Passenger carrier JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU) has flagged off Mint − its premium service offering, between New York’s John. F. Kennedy (:JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (:LAX) at an attractive one way fare of $599.

By Aug 3, 2014, JetBlue plans to have Mint seating on all flights operating on the busy transcontinental route, JFK–LAX. It also plans to add the premium offering on flights between San Francisco (:SFO) and JFK effective Oct 26.

Mint includes 16 lie-flat first class seats including 4 private suits, which will be the widest and the longest seats available within the domestic market. Notably, passengers who book early can avail the suits at the same price as that of other Mints seats. The 4 private suits will also offer the privacy of a closing door, among other facilities. Further, all Mint customers will be able to enjoy up to 100 channels of DIRECTV (DTV) and more than 100 channels of SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (SIRI) on JetBlue’s 15-inch flat screen attached to their seats.

The airline has also tied up with leading New York City-based restaurant Saxon + Parole to provide a specially designed menu for Mint passengers on board. Fliers can now order for a customized meal choosing from among five offerings. The meal will end on a sweet note with desserts from Brooklyn's Blue Marble Ice Cream and a grand fruit salad.

JetBlue ensures no-compromise comfort for Mint passengers who can recline their seats apart from adjusting the air cushions and lumber support.  Other value added services include power outlets, USB ports, grooming products from Brichbox and a built-in massage function.      

JetBlue is making continued progress in expanding its product and service offerings on board and expects higher TrueBlue and Even More revenues to lead to 10-15% growth in ancillary revenues. Moreover, the carrier is on track to install its Fly-Fi product on its A-320 fleet by the end of 2014.

With its latest Mint offering, JetBlue is expected to have an edge over competitors like Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV), Save Airlines Inc. and Virgin America. Mint’s unmatched rates coupled with the availability of the best-in-class in-flight entertainment and refreshment products should fuel the demand for its luxury seats, particularly in the long-haul markets.

However, the rise in fuel prices owing to the political turbulence in Iraq remains an immediate concern for the carrier. We thus remain sidelined on JetBlue at present with a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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