NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) today announced that delivery of the airline’s first Airbus A321neo (new engine option) aircraft is set for this spring with entry into service this summer. The A321neo will make it possible for JetBlue to operate a new, nonstop route between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Guayaquil, Ecuador’s José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE). (a)
The new nonstop flight between the Northeast and South America will be made possible by the A321neo’s extended range and fuel efficiency. JetBlue’s growth in its existing Ecuador market advances the airline’s leadership position in Latin America and the Caribbean where it serves nearly 40 destinations.
“The introduction of the A321neo to our fleet opens up a world of new possibilities as we think about the future of our growing network, building out our focus cities, and offering new and unique nonstop routes to our customers,” said Andrea Lusso, director route planning, JetBlue. “At the same time we are ensuring we deliver the best the best travel experience to customers and meet our long-term financial targets as we grow into the future.”
New Flying Opportunities with Comfort and Connectivity
The A321neo – the newest aircraft type to join JetBlue’s growing fleet of more than 250 aircraft – boasts a 20% increase in fuel efficiency which results in an extended range of some 500 nautical miles. The extended flying capabilities of the A321neo opens up a host of new markets which JetBlue’s existing fleet could not serve with nonstop flights. Additionally, each JetBlue Airbus A321neo will be powered by two Pratt & Whitney GTF engines, which produce a smaller noise footprint and lower operating costs when compared with today's engines.
Inside the aircraft, JetBlue’s award-winning comfort and connectivity will be the focus of the onboard customer experience. The A321neo will feature the Collins Meridian seat -- which is the widest seat available for the single aisle Airbus family of aircraft – with enhanced cushion comfort, adjustable headrests, power connections at every seat and the most legroom in coach (b). Inflight entertainment will be powered by Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 connectivity. With this system – featuring 10.1 inch, 1080P high definition screens, more than 100 channels of live television with DVR-like pause and rewind functionality, picture-in-picture function and more – JetBlue will offer customers expanded entertainment choices in nearly every region the airline flies (c). JetBlue is the only major U.S. airline with seatback entertainment screens at every seat on every aircraft.
Expanding Service in Ecuador
JetBlue will launch new service between New York-JFK and Guayaquil starting December 5, 2019, pending government approval. Flights will operate daily and the new route will become the longest in the JetBlue network, stretching beyond today’s longest route by more than 200 nautical miles. Today, the existing New York-Guayaquil market suffers from high fares and limited connecting flight choices. JetBlue aims to bring affordable fares to the market while also offering the only nonstop service by a major U.S. airline between the two cities. JetBlue will announce details of when seats will go on sale soon.
Home to more than two million people, Guayaquil is buzzing with colorful cityscapes, outdoor gardens and zoos. The city is also a convenient gateway to the natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands. With quick and easy flight access from Guayaquil, travelers can get up close and personal with wildlife while surrounded by unique landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world.
“On behalf of the Government of Ecuador, and through the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works, we are dedicating efforts to improve the connectivity of our country,” said Aurelio Hidalgo, Minister of Transport and Public Works, Ecuador. “JetBlue’s official announcement of its new direct route between New York and Guayaquil by the end of 2019, is the result of this work. We are pleased to receive them, and we wish them success, which will undoubtedly be our success.”
JetBlue has already seen success in Ecuador. The airline first launched daily service between Fort Lauderdale and Quito in 2016 and will add a second daily seasonal flight on the route this summer. Existing service between Fort Lauderdale and Guayaquil launched February 2019.