JetBlue’s Accelerates Airbus A220 Commercial Service Launch

JetBlue’s first Airbus A220 commercial flights are slated to begin this month. Starting on April 26th, JetBlue’s first commercial A220 is set to fly flight number 1391 to Tampa, which marks an acceleration from the previously announced timeline for A220 services starting in mid-June on flights to Florida.

JetBlue A220
JetBlue will fly its inaugural A220-300 flight on April 26th from Boston to Tampa. Photo: Airbus

JetBlue to fly first A220 commercial flight this month

On April 26th, JetBlue is set to fly its first commercial A220 flight. Flight number 1391 will head to Tampa International Airport (TPA) from Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS).

Per JetBlue schedules, flight 1391 is expected to depart BOS at 16:32 and arrive three hours and 24 minutes later at 19:56 in Tampa (all times are local). However, the current booking engine has not loaded up the A220 flights. This flight is showing an Airbus A320 will fly the route currently. In the coming days, this should be fixed.

JetBlue A220
The Airbus A220’s entry into service with JetBlue has been accelerated. Photo: JetBlue

JetBlue, however, has been flying the Airbus A220 around to various cities in the US. The aircraft has been seen in Pittsburgh, Fort Lauderdale, and other airports in JetBlue’s network. JetBlue has been running test flights with this aircraft in preparation for the inaugural flights.

As always, flight schedules are subject to change. The Airbus A220 may end up having its inaugural flight delayed if the situation changes or if JetBlue is not yet comfortable flying the aircraft.

Accelerated Airbus A220 entry

After taking its first Airbus A220 on December 31st, 2020, the airline has eagerly anticipated its first A220-operated flights. JetBlue currently only has firm orders for the A220-300, and the first A220 it took was one of the larger -300s.

JetBlue A220 interior
The A220-300s are outfitted with room for 130 passengers. Photo: JetBlue

When JetBlue first took the A220, it announced that it expected the aircraft to enter revenue service by mid-June on flights between Boston and Fort Lauderdale. The new A220 entry will see the carrier fly the jet from Boston, but to a different Florida airport and just under two months ahead of schedule.

JetBlue tends to take a more conservative stance before introducing a new aircraft into revenue service. The airline wants to ensure that its crew is ready to fly on the jet to minimize any friction points when it comes to inaugurating flights with the jet. This is one reason why the airline has waited for a few months before putting the Airbus A220 into service.

Boston is one of JetBlue’s hubs, and Florida is where many Americans are flocking to in the midst of a global pandemic. Current schedules for flights from Boston to Tampa show up to six nonstop flights on the route per day. JetBlue has scheduled non-Mint Airbus A320 aircraft for flights between Boston and Tampa. It is not clear how long the A220 will fly on the route.

JetBlue, Airbus A220, First Delivery
The A220 fleet will replace JetBlue’s E190 aircraft, though the inaugural flight will run alongside Airbus A320 jets. Photo: Getty Images

JetBlue’s Airbus A220

The Airbus A220 is a large part of JetBlue’s fleet renewal plan. JetBlue plans on replacing its Embraer E190s with the jet. In addition, the carrier has enough on order to expand its route portfolio, if it chooses, beyond traditional Embraer-operated routes.

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JetBlue’s Airbus A220s are outfitted in an all-economy configuration. All 140 seats on the aircraft are fitted with access to power outlets, live TV and seatback entertainment with a 10.1-inch 1080P HD screen and WiFi.

JetBlue A220 interior
As other airlines move away from inflight entertainment through seatback screens, JetBlue has ensured its A220s are equipped with this feature and more. Photo: JetBlue

The A220’s flexibility is well-appreciated, as the jet is emerging as a winner and many airlines absolutely love using those planes. JetBlue states that the A220 offers a nearly 30% lower direct operating cost per seat than the E190s. With superior economics, the airline believes the A220s can cover existing routes and have the potential to cover new markets and routes that would be unprofitable with the existing fleet.

Are you going to fly JetBlue’s inaugural Airbus A220 flight? Let us know in the comments!