Today, JetBlue revealed its first Airbus A220 to the world. The airline is looking to take delivery of the aircraft in December before it enters service early next year. JetBlue will become the second A220 operator in the United States behind Delta Air Lines.
The Airbus A220 is fast becoming a favorite with airlines and passengers alike. Indeed, the aircraft’s small size means that it is perfect for point to point operations on quieter routes. However, it is also proving its worth during the pandemic recovery, with most of the global fleet remaining in the skies. After all, the aircraft is greener and easier to fill than older, larger aircraft.
JetBlue’s first A220
JetBlue is aiming to take delivery of its first Airbus A220 by the end of the year. The aircraft is the -300 variant of the family and is being constructed at Airbus’ Mobile manufacturing plant in Alabama.
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To celebrate its first A220, JetBlue has created a unique design for its vertical stabilizer. Called “Hops,” the design represents “the idea of connection many short trips together as part of a larger journey.”
The Airbus A220 will be used by JetBlue to replace its current fleet of Embraer E190 aircraft. The airline has 60 of these aircraft to replace but is currently expecting 70 of the A220. According to JetBlue, the new A220 will be used on various routes, not just those served by the E190.
The airline will use the aircraft to target growth from its focus cities. This will allow the airline to open new routes that aren’t currently profitable due to its smaller cabin tied with the aircraft’s increased fuel efficiency. However, the airline is also looking to place the aircraft on some of its longer transcontinental ‘hops.’
About the A220
The Airbus A220-300 that JetBlue is expecting is proving far more popular than its smaller sister the -100 with 548 orders to 94. So far, 78 -300s have been delivered. airBaltic is the largest operator of the variant with 23 aircraft in its fleet.
The other A220-300s are currently flying with SWISS (20), EgyptAir (10), Korean Air (10), Air Canada (eight), and Air Tanzania (two). Only two airlines operate the smaller -100 at this time. They are Delta Air Lines with 31, and SWISS, with nine. As such, SWISS is the only operator currently flying both variants.
There was a slight concern with the A220-300’s engines this time last year that saw SWISS ground its entire fleet of the aircraft. However, following the grounding, each aircraft was inspected and swiftly returned to service.
Are you excited to fly on JetBlue’s new fleet of A220 aircraft? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!