JetBlue orders 60 Airbus A220-300s

In a deal worth $5.4 billion, JetBlue has placed an order for 60 Airbus A220-300s with an additional 60 options, making them the first airline to order the type since Airbus took control.

JetBlue has also converted their order for 25 A320neos to the larger A321neo variant, taking the total order for the largest A320neo family aircraft to 85.

Deliveries of the A220-300 are expected to start in 2020 and will be used to replace their Embraer E190 fleet. All of the aircraft will be assembled in the second soon to be built Mobile, Alabama assembly line. The 60 options are set to be taken after 2025.

No seat count and cabin configuration has been decided yet.

JetBlue started the search for E190 replacements in early 2017, primarily targeting the A220 family and the Embraer E2. The decision to take the A220 is a blow to Embraer as they’ve been pitching their E2 jet quite aggressively.

Airbus A220 JetBlue

Airbus A220 JetBlue

JetBlue said in a statement:

“While the E190 has played an important role in JetBlue’s network since 2005, the airline’s fleet review determined that the A220’s economics would allow the airline to lower costs in the coming years.”

Chief executive Robin Hayes also added:

“As we approach our 20th anniversary, the A220, combined with our A321 and restyled A320 fleet, will help ensure we deliver the best onboard experience to customers and meet our long-term financial targets as we continue disciplined growth into the future

The superior range of the A220 and the cheap operating cost is what led the airline to make the decision. While they respect that Embraer has a good aircraft, it simply did not fit their requirements.

The E190 fleet will begin to say goodbye to the airline in 2020. The airline expects all aircraft to be out of the fleet by 2025.

The A220 agreement also allows JetBlue to convert to the smaller A220-100 variant should the market change or they deem the size too big.