JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) today announced its first Airbus A220-300 aircraft has officially entered scheduled service with the first revenue flight from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to Tampa International Airport (TPA) departing just before 5 o’clock this evening. The aircraft – which was assembled at Airbus's U.S. production facility in Mobile, Ala. – is scheduled to operate between the Northeast and Florida for the next several weeks. JetBlue’s second A220 is on track for delivery in the coming days, with the third expected to arrive next month.
JetBlue’s First Airbus A220-300 Featuring Incredible Comfort, Lower Operating Costs and Superior Performance Enters Scheduled Service
“We selected the Airbus A220 nearly three years ago knowing its cost savings, superior performance and customer-friendly design would evolve our fleet for the long-term future,” said Ursula Hurley, head of treasury and investor relations, JetBlue. “These factors, which initially led us to select the A220, are now more important than ever as we navigate the new travel environment with a steady hand and a long-term view on recovery. Today’s introduction of our first A220 into scheduled service allows us to continue to execute our low cost business model and enables JetBlue to continue to offer low fares to more customers.”
The A220 boasts a nearly 30 percent lower direct operating cost per seat than the JetBlue’s existing E190 fleet. Lower seat costs come from both fuel and non-fuel savings. The A220 fleet will also help to further reset JetBlue's maintenance costs well into the decade. With a range of up to 3,350 nautical miles and a 40 percent lower fuel burn per seat than JetBlue's E190 aircraft, the favorable economics open the door to new markets and routes that would have been unprofitable with JetBlue's existing fleet.
The A220 covers a wide mix of new and existing market possibilities with excellent economics on short, medium and even potentially transcontinental markets. This will allow for better overall aircraft utilization and provide a competitive advantage for JetBlue especially in short haul markets. New cities, routes and markets will be evaluated in the future as more A220 aircraft join the JetBlue fleet.
"Today's first JetBlue A220 commercial flight marks the culmination of our A220 journey coming to life. Having JetBlue - an ultramodern airline - flying customers onboard the newest and most stylish member of its fleet captures the spirit of our vision when we designed the A220 as a truly innovative single-aisle aircraft. The A220 is an industry leader, setting the standard in cabin comfort, operating economics, environmental footprint and digital capability. Congratulations to all," said Rob Dewar, SVP, A220 Customer Satisfaction & Services and Product Policy at Airbus. Dewar also lent his name to the first JetBlue A220 aircraft.
“The entry into service of the GTF-powered A220 for JetBlue is a milestone moment. Pratt & Whitney and JetBlue have collaborated closely since the airline’s first flight in 2000. We are honored that JetBlue is confident the that GTF’s game-changing technology will provide true value for their next-generation fleets,” said Rick Deurloo, chief commercial officer and senior vice president at Pratt & Whitney. “We’re honored to be a part of this momentous milestone and we look forward to supporting JetBlue’s expansion and their commitment to sustainable aviation.”
JetBlue’s A220 is outfitted with the Collins Meridian seat, customized around customer feedback and featuring a number of design elements with comfort and convenience in mind. And, in a first for the airline’s fleet, seating is arranged in a two-by-three configuration. Whether traveling as a couple or a family, JetBlue’s newest plane has multiple seating options for all party sizes.
- 140 seats with an expanded width of 18.6 inches, the widest available for a single aisle aircraft and the widest in JetBlue’s fleet.
- Six rows of Even More Space® seating
- Enhanced cushion comfort and adjustable headrests with premium Ultraleather®, a softer, more breathable vegan leather material.
- Contoured seatback design at knee level creating additional living space for every customer.
- Custom designed seatback storage with mesh pockets, perfectly sized for water bottles and loose items.
- Easy-to-reach in-seat power, featuring AC, USB-A, and USB-C ports.
Keeping Customers Connected
JetBlue will build on its reputation as an industry leader in inflight entertainment options with Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 connectivity. With this system, JetBlue will offer every customer aboard the A220 expanded and personalized entertainment choices in nearly every region the airline flies (a). JetBlue is the first airline to receive an A220 with Viasat connectivity and only US carrier with free high speed Fly-Fi® on every plane, providing Customers with the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices and stream, surf, or chat during the entire flight, from gate to gate.
- 10.1 inch, 1080P high definition screen at every seat.
- 30 channels of DIRECTV® with DVR-like pause and rewind functionality, full seasons of shows, hundreds of movies, and premium content from HBO & SHOWTIME.
- Picture-in-picture function.
- Enhanced, 3D flight map offering multiple ways to track time to destination.
- Personal handheld device pairing capabilities for use as a remote or gaming controller.
- Expanded Fly-Fi® connectivity, providing coverage to nearly the entire JetBlue network.
Sleek Style in the Sky
JetBlue – which offers the most legroom in coach (b) – is also maximizing the A220’s ultra-modern design to create an elevated customer experience throughout the interior. Every aspect of the aircraft has been meticulously customized to create the perfect environment to deliver JetBlue’s award-winning service.
- Bigger windows for better views and creating an overall spacious feel.
- More spacious overhead bins for additional carry-on bag capacity.
- Custom LED mood lighting designed to provide a more soothing inflight experience with lighting scenarios that change with time of day or phase of flight.
- Redesigned front galley partitions to enhance customer privacy near crew workspace.
- Lavatories featuring subway tile patterns – a nod to being New York’s Hometown Airline® – and gender-neutral signage unique to JetBlue.
- Custom-created front and rear wall panel patterns, which incorporate dots and dashes from Morse code to spell out something fun.
Economics & the Environment
The A220 is powered exclusively by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines, which deliver double-digit improvements in fuel and carbon emissions. Optimizing fuel burn is an important first step in JetBlue’s cost-conscious sustainability strategy, and prioritizing fuel-efficient aircraft and engines aligns with JetBlue’s approach to reducing emissions. Earlier this year, JetBlue became the first major U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all domestic flights, and later announced its plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions across all operations by 2040.