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

JetBlue Receives Its First A220-300 Aircraft

2020 was like no other year for aviation. The industry faced several, daunting obstacles, and COVID-19 forced each airline to revise its policies. Also, the carriers encountered different, detrimental losses and had to reevaluate route networks according to travel demand. However, airlines can pave the pathway for new opportunities and possibilities with the arrival of the new year. To celebrate the new year, JetBlue officially welcomed its first Airbus A220-300 aircraft – tail number N3008J – into its fleet.

New York’s hometown airline will replace its existing 60 older Embraer E190s with 70 more, newer A220 aircraft currently on order. The carrier’s first A220-300’s ferry flight arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport – jetBlue’s home and major focus city – on New Year’s Eve from Airbus’ U.S. production factory in Mobile, Ala. 

“The A220 is a next-generation aircraft our customers and crewmembers will love, featuring impressive range and superior economics to support critical financial and operating priorities along with new network planning flexibility,” Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue, said. “And as we evolve our fleet for the future, the A220’s significant reduction in per-seat emissions supports our ongoing commitment to carbon neutrality for all our domestic flights, and moves us closer to achieving our pledge of net-zero carbon emissions across all operations by 2040.” 

Jetblue’s active, existing fleet consists of its Mint and non-configured Airbus A321s, dependable A320s, newer A321neos and regional E190s. These aircraft serve as the airline’s powerhouses for its expanding and extensive route network. 

“JetBlue has revolutionized air travel, and we at Airbus are proud that our 20-year relationship has played a role in the airline’s many successes,” said C. Jeffrey Knittel, Chairman & CEO, Airbus Americas, Inc. “This first A220-300 delivery creates new route possibilities for JetBlue, and raises their passenger experience to even higher standards.”

A Refined, Transformed Carrier

JetBlue joins Delta in adding the A220 to its short-haul fleet to replace older, less-efficient aircraft. In July 2018, JetBlue’s senior leadership announced they were selecting the larger A220-300 to enhance its current fleet.

“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,” Hayes said after the airline’s initial order in 2018, a philosophy that still resonated, with the airline announcing several, historical new routes, opening new focus cities, and refining its renowned Mint business class, in 2020. 

JetBlue’s first, brand new, recently delivered A220-300 sets itself up for success, even though it may not be unique in adding modern aircraft such as the A220 to its fleet. JetBlue also welcomed Los Angeles as its core focus city in its west coast strategy and expanded its presence in the New York City area with new flights out of Newark, featuring new Mint flights. 

Furthermore, the airline made the noteworthy, historical decision to begin flights from Miami soon, including new Mint flights, although Fort Lauderdale has been known as JetBlue’s prominent focus city in south Florida. Predominately, its success lies in what the airline is going to accomplishing differently compared to what they were before COVID-19 hammered the industry. 

Clearly, JetBlue’s introduction of the A220-300 aircraft is one of the airline’s notable contributors to further develop its approach for overcoming COVID-19. If JetBlue continues its transformative moves, the airline is unfazed to smoothly recover from the slump in travel demand.

Benjamin Pham
Benjamin Pham
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