While JetBlue has renegotiated deliveries for its A320neos, it remains committed to taking all of its A220s according to schedule. With the 140 seats the airline has settled on for its newest addition, it could be a good solution for a contracted US market along with JetBlue’s new nonstop transcontinental routes. Let’s take a look at what we know of the fleet so far.
As Simple Flying reported a couple of months back, JetBlue is still on route to receive the first of its A220 in December this year. The idea has been to base the aircraft out of the airline’s hub at Boston Logan Airport. Under present circumstances, it could potentially be an ideal substitute for the larger capacity A320 on the Boston – New York route, but no schedule has yet been announced.
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Optimistic delivery schedule
While the leisure airline has renegotiated delivery schedules with Airbus for the A320neos it has on order, JetBlue remains optimistic about the smaller capacity A220. It is set to receive seven in 2021 and eight in 2022, with the remainder of the 60 strong order arriving over the following couple of years.
JetBlue and Airbus first announced the order for the A220-300s in 2018. The increased efficiency of the plane will allow JetBlue to seat more passengers for the same operation costs of its Embraer ERJ-190s, which the new jet is intended to replace.
The carrier has opted for 140 seats on board the A220s. There will be three rows of Even More Space seats at the front of the cabin and two more over the exit rows in the middle, for five in total.
Will travel transcontinentally
As the airline has planned to phase out the smaller 100-seater Emraber jets for A220s, one could assume it means to use them on the same short- and medium-haul routes. However, the carrier also intends to deploy its A220s on transcontinental missions. In a press release at the time of the order, JetBlue stated that,
“The aircraft’s range and seating capacity will add flexibility to JetBlue’s network strategy as it targets growth in its focus cities, including options to schedule it for transcontinental flying. The aircraft also opens the door to new markets and routes that would have been unprofitable with JetBlue’s existing fleet.”
New routes well-suited for the A220
The New York-based airline, which apart from the Embraers, operates an all-Airbus fleet, will certainly have places to fly the A220. In September, the carrier announced that it would serve 24 new destinations before the end of 2020.
With a range of 6,297 km, the A220 is a good option for smaller capacity transcontinental operations. It also works well on the leisure routes that JetBlue has planned from the West Coast to Central America, and from the East Coast to the Caribbean.
Some of the new routes from LAX, those to Charleston in South Carolina, Richmond in Virginia, and West Palm Beach in Florida, which previously have had no nonstop flights, could also be particularly well-suited for the 2-3 economy configuration. Passengers from Hartford, Connecticut, could also get to fly in the new plane on JetBlue’s new routes from the airport.