JetBlue has confirmed an order for 60 new Airbus A220 aircraft. The news comes after JetBlue told staff in a memo that it was considering whether to order some A321neo Long Range aircraft. The long-range aircraft would be used to launch services to long-distance destinations such as London.
JetBlue has a large Airbus fleet, so today’s order doesn’t seem too out of place. What is interesting, however, is that in total Airbus has announced 120 firm orders for A220 aircraft today, with the other 60 coming from David Neeleman’s startup airline, codenamed Moxy. Why this gets interesting is that David Neeleman was also the founder of JetBlue.
The Regional Airbus
The A220 is Airbus’s latest unique model. The aircraft is essentially a Bombardier C300, however, Airbus bought the program from Bombardier. On the other side of the pond, Boeing is currently trying to buy a share of Bombardier rival, Embraer. The A220 is ideally suited to shorter domestic flights, where the capacity of a large aircraft is not needed. JetBlue has ordered the A220-300, one of the larger model of the A220 series. The aircraft can carry up to 160 passengers in a single class configuration. There is no word yet on where JetBlue will place the onboard restrooms.
Brand New Facility
The 60 A220s destined for JetBlue will be manufactured in a brand new facility currently not built. Construction of the new site is set to begin later in January. The plant is not a huge surprise, as Airbus currently manufactures the A320 on the same site, which is located in Mobile, Alabama. The new regional aircraft will complement JetBlue’s existing Airbus fleet of 193 A320 and A321ceo aircraft. Additionally, the airline has 85 A321neo aircraft on order.
Supporting Disciplined Growth
According to an Airbus press release JetBlue’s CEO, Robin Hayes, believes that the A220 will help JetBlue to achieve disciplined growth. He told the press release: “As we approach our 20th anniversary, the impressive range and economics of the highly efficient A220, combined with the outstanding performance of our existing fleet of Airbus A321 and restyled A320 aircraft, will help ensure we deliver the best onboard experience to customers and meet our long-term financial targets as we continue disciplined growth into the future.” There is currently no word on when JetBlue’s first A220 will be delivered.
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