David Neeleman’s Startup Moxy Could Soon Have Aircraft

The startup airline from serial aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman could soon have its first aircraft. The JetBlue founder revealed yesterday that retiring Embraer regional jets from Azul will be rotated into the Moxy fleet as the new E2s arrive.

Azul Embraer E190
Azul’s old E190s could be headed for Moxy. Photo: Patrick Mutzenberg via Wikimedia

David Neeleman has always maintained his new airline, codenamed Moxy, would begin flying in 2021. But with its 60 Airbus A220s not slated to begin delivering until 2021, it was looking to be a slow start. However, now Neeleman plans to boost initial capacity through the acquisition of Azul’s cast-off Embraer aircraft.

Azul’s fleet renewal means aircraft for Moxy

As reported by Bloomberg yesterday, Neeleman has revealed plans to rotate the used Embraer E195s from Azul into a new fleet to get Moxy off the ground. Azul took delivery of its first E195-E2 yesterday, at a grandiose ceremony with smoke and lasers.

Azul E2 delivery
Azul welcomed the first E195-E2 yesterday. Photo: Embraer

Azul is retiring its fleet of 57 ERJ-190s in favor of the newer E2 jet, dubbed by Embraer the ‘Profit Hunter’. It is expecting delivery of six more over the coming months, all on lease from Aer Cap, and a further 51 which will be owned by the airline.

As the ERJs begin to be phased out, Neeleman says there is a plan in place to turn these over to Moxy for it to begin operations. While it’s not clear at this stage whether Moxy will purchase the planes from Azul or lease them, it could see Moxy taking to the skies much sooner than expected.

E190 jetblue
Neeleman’s former airline, JetBlue, use the E190 too. Photo: Lars Schmidt via Wikimedia

As the aircraft would be a new type, Neeleman has said it will operate on a separate AOC to the A220 certificate he already has in place for Moxy. This will likely take some time, although shouldn’t be a problem for the experienced aviation entrepreneur.

Where will we see Moxy fly?

So far, Neeleman has been fairly tight-lipped about specific destinations but has always maintained that Moxy will be a point to point operation, servicing routes not flown by other carriers. Taking the used ERJs from Azul will be ideal for this sort of domestic US service, the jet being highly efficient on shorter routes and having the capabilities to land at smaller airports.

However, with the capable range of the A220, Moxy could fly even further. In fact, in an interview with Brazilian Estadao this week, Neeleman floated the idea of flying into Brazil with his new airline. When he was asked if Moxy would operate in Brazil, Neeleman answered,

“Perhaps. We have a choice to do many things.”

The A220 could take Moxy to Brazil. Photo: Airbus

Later on in the interview, he expanded on his recipe for success, saying that the reason JetBlue and Azul have been so successful is because they were doing something other airlines didn’t. He notes that he looks for a market that is underserved and which can be easily stimulated. He goes on to cite an example for Moxy, saying,

“Imagine a flight from Cuiaba to Orlando every day with a cheap fare, would more people travel? I am not saying that we will fly to Cuiaba, but the opportunity exists with this low cost aircraft [the A220]”

When and where Moxy will fly still remains to be firmed up, as does the final name of the airline. However, judging by the success of JetBlue and Azul, we can look forward to exciting times ahead. Are you excited to fly Moxy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.