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JetBlue’s first Airbus A220 rolls off the assembly plant. (Photo: JetBlue)

A First Look at JetBlue’s Airbus A220

JetBlue revealed on Monday its latest aircraft tail design, called “Hops,” which will be inaugurated on its first Airbus A220 aircraft, set to be delivered in December.

“‘Hops’ represents an evolution in the JetBlue design experience with a slightly more multidimensional look than previous tailfins,” JetBlue said in a statement. “The playful pattern, created by JetBlue’s in-house designers, echoes a sense of continuation and offers a nod to the idea of connecting many short trips together as part of a larger journey, commonly referred to in travel as a hopping – whether city to city or island to island.”

The airline’s first A220 rolled off Airbus’ Mobile, Ala. plant earlier today. The plane will feature 140 seats, including 25 “Even More Space” seats and 115 regular economy seats. The reveal comes as American counterpart Delta also prepares to accept its first A220-300 from the Mobile plant next month.

JetBlue will phase in the A220 as replacements for its 60 Embraer E190 aircraft. 70 A220s are set to be delivered to the airline.

JetBlue calls its first A220 livery “hops” in reference to the aircraft’s role of “hopping” from one destination to the next.
(Photo: JetBlue)

JetBlue says the A220’s range and seating capacity will boost its network strategy by adding flexibility to its growth plans in focus seating. The airline is leaving the possibility of transcontinental A200 flights open, boasting the airplane’s exceptional comfort to persuade travelers.

At the time of writing, no routes have been published with the A220, but it is likely that the aircraft will begin popping up on routes currently operated by E190 aircraft since the two are being swapped. 

JetBlue has rapidly expanded and adapted its network since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States this spring. Last month, the airline announced 24 new routes – focused on leisure travel – out of its focus cities, including multiple international and transcontinental routes that could fit the A220’s size and range.

Earlier in the summer, the airline added 30 additional new destinations, featuring an expansion of its “Mint” premium services.

Looking forward, JetBlue seems to be positioning itself to claim additional market share as the coronavirus pandemic subsides. In addition to its new aircraft and domestic routes, the airline has hinted at launching transatlantic services in 2021. It revealed a new tail design in September for the aircraft that will serve routes initially.

Author

  • John McDermott is a student at Northwestern University. He is also a student pilot with hopes of flying for the airlines. A self-proclaimed "avgeek," John will rave about aviation at length to whoever will listen, and he is keen to call out any airplane he sees, whether or not anyone around him cares about flying at all. John previously worked as a Journalist and Editor-In-Chief at Aeronautics Online Aviation News and Media. In his spare time, John enjoys running, photography, and watching planes approach Chicago O'Hare from over Lake Michigan.

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