Airbus now holds more than 500 firm orders for its A220 narrowbody twin – the former Bombardier C Series – after inking separate deals with JetBlue and a US start-up led by JetBlue founder David Neeleman for 60 A220-300s each.
Moxy is the working name for a new low-cost carrier led by serial entrepreneur Neeleman, who also founded Azul Brazilian Airlines after leaving JetBlue, co-founded Canada’s Westjet, and is a controlling investor in TAP Air Portugal.
“The A220-300 is the right airplane for a new airline that will be focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” Neeleman said in a statement.
“With a low cost of operation and spacious cabin, the A220 will allow us to provide passengers with lower fares and a high quality, comfortable flying experience. The A220’s ability to operate profitably in thin, underserved markets across a broad spectrum of ranges is unique.”
The JetBlue order, meanwhile, firms up a previously announced commitment, and was finalised in the last week of December, Airbus said.
“As we approach our 20th anniversary, the impressive range and economics of the highly efficient A220, combined with the outstanding performance of our existing fleet of Airbus A321 and restyled A320 aircraft, 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,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s chief executive officer.
Both the JetBlue and Moxy aircraft will be built at the Airbus’s new US assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. Construction of the plant, located adjacent to the existing A320 assembly facility, will begin later this month.
In other Airbus A220 news, Air Tanzania has become the first African airline to take delivery of the aircraft, accepting its first of two A220-300s at Mirabel, Quebec in December.
“With the addition of the A220 in our fleet, we are confident that we will expand our footprint in the growing African markets and beyond, as we unlock additional routes and regain our position as a key player in the African air transport market,” said Ladislaus Matindi, Air Tanzania managing director and CEO.
The first Airbus A220-300 for Air Tanzania Photo by Mark Brandon https://t.co/OGBQwd1bP0
— Airliners.net (@airliners_net) December 16, 2018
Air Tanzania is the fifth airline to take delivery of the A220.
Airbus struck an agreement with Bombardier to become a partner and 50.01 per cent majority shareholder in the C Series program in October 2017, with Bombardier and the Quebec governments investment arm, Investissement Québec, owning approximately 34 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.
The deal was finalised on July 1 2018 and later in the month Airbus officially rebranded the C Series as the A220 at an event held at its Toulouse headquarters featuring invited guests, executives from both companies and invited media.
The A220 family comprises two models, the A220-100 (100-135 seats) and A220-300 (130-160 seats), formerly Bombardier’s CS100 and CS300.
The A220-100 has a range of 2,950nm when configured with 116 passengers, while Airbus lists the A220-300’s range on its website as 3,200nm with 141 passengers.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan, the A220 competes for the lower end of the narrowbody market alongside the Embraer E2 and Mitsubishi Regional Jet, and to a lesser degree designs from Sukhoi and COMAC.