As we kick off 2021, there’s still one piece of news from 2020 that needs to be addressed. Yesterday, US hybrid carrier JetBlue took delivery of its first Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The plane arrived at New York’s JFK yesterday evening.
2020 wasn’t the best year for aircraft deliveries. Both Airbus and Boeing saw orders pushed back as airlines dealt with the global aviation crisis. After all, why would an airline want to take delivery of new aircraft when it wasn’t flying the aircraft that it already has? There were a few exceptions, such as British Airways, who continued to take delivery of widebodies through the crisis.
First A220 for the airline
JetBlue is currently expecting to take 70 Airbus A220 aircraft, all from the family’s -300 variant. While the entire 70 aircraft fleet is still a long way off, a huge milestone was reached yesterday when JetBlue took delivery of its first A220-300, registered as N3008J.
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As Airbus raced to get orders counted in its 2020 delivery number, the A220 was delivered on December 31st before the new year kicked in. The aircraft departed from Mobile at 16:34, around an hour later than planned. According to data from FlightRadar24.com, the aircraft climbed to 41,000 feet for the journey to JFK, where it arrived at 19:35 after a two-hour flight.
What to expect from the A220 experience
So far, it’s not entirely clear what passengers will experience when flying onboard the Airbus A220. For the time being, JetBlue has left us with the teaser that its ‘thoughtfully designed cabin interior’ will be revealed during January.
We have had some hints as to what to expect in the past, however. According to Seth Miller at Paxex.aero, the aircraft will have 140 seats. These will be in the A220’s 2-3 configuration. This would put it at one row less than the A220-300’s launch customer, airBaltic. JetBlue previously told us that the seats would have the most legroom in an economy cabin based on average fleet-wide seat pitch. Also, the A220s will offer free ‘Fly-Fi’ WiFi, offering live television on most routes.
An Embraer E190 replacement
JetBlue is angling the A220-300 as a replacement for its E190 fleet. The A220-300 will also allow the airline to expand slightly. While the E190 fleet currently consists of 60 aircraft, JetBlue has ordered ten extra A220s.
According to the airline, the A220 will cost 30% less to operate per seat than the E190. The aircraft has longer maintenance intervals and improved reliability. This is something that the airline says will reduce maintenance costs by 40%.
According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, Robin Hayes, CEO at JetBlue said,
“As we evolve our fleet for the future, the A220’s significant reduction in per-seat emissions supports our ongoing commitment to carbon neutrality for all our domestic flights, and moves us closer to achieving our pledge of net zero carbon emissions across all operations by 2040.”
Are you looking forward to flying on JetBlue’s Airbus A220? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!