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Budget passenger carrier, JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU - Analyst Report), unveiled a premium service at an affordable rate, for first class service within the reach of all. Termed as Mint, the new service will initially target the busy transcontinental route of New York (NY) to Los Angeles (LA) and San Francisco (SF). A couple of months back, JetBlue announced its intention to enhance its premium offering between New York and California.

JetBlue’s new premium service will attract customers who want some extra comfort at an affordable rate. Mint will include 16 lie-flat first class seats including 4 private suits, which will become the longest seats within the domestic market. Furthermore, Mint customers will be able enjoy up to 100 channels of DIRECTV (DTV - Analyst Report) and 100+ channels of SIRIUS XM Radio Inc.(SIRI - Analyst Report) on JetBlue’s 15-inch flat screen attached to its seats.

Some of its most unique features will include pre-departure milk, followed by a cocktail and amuse-bouche. The discount airline has also tied up with a leading New-York city based restaurant to provide high quality food to the passengers on board. Other value added services include amenity kits that will include personalized grooming products from Brichbox.      

Mint service will be available on the NY-LA route for the first time on Jun15, 2014 with seven daily flights and the premium service from fourth quarter of 2014. Tickets are already available and start at $499 for a one-way trip from NY to LA. Mint service within the NY-SF route will be available from the fourth quarter of 2014, with five more flights being operational from the first quarter of 2015.  

The exceptional rate offered by JetBlue for these luxury seats will in turn fuel the demand for luxury air travel. We believe the move is a strategic one to meet the growing demand for luxury air travel in the U.S.

However, the New York-California is one of the hot routes among the profitable transcontinental routes in the U.S. Larger rivals like Delta Airlines Inc. (DAL - Analyst Report), United-Continental Holdings and American Airlines plan to add lie-flat premium seats on these routes, which will bring in competition for JetBlue.

JetBlue currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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