JetBlue founder may launch new U.S. startup ‘Moxy’ next year

Sep 12, 2019

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JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman does not want to wait to launch his next airline venture.

The U.S.-based carrier, temporarily called Moxy, aims to launch with up to 30 used Embraer E-Jets from Neeleman’s Brazilian carrier Azul in 2020, reported The Air Current Thursday. Air Current editor Jon Ostrower spoke with Neeleman at the delivery of the first E195-E2 to Azul at Embraer’s facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

Related: JetBlue’s Founder May Start a New US Airline

Azul, which Neeleman founded in 2008 after stepping down at JetBlue, plans to replace E190s and E195s with its new E195-E2s. The Brazilian carrier expects six E2s by year end, and another 14 in 2020, its latest investor presentation shows.

David Neeleman (left) at the delivery of Azul's first E195-E2. (Photo courtesy of Embraer)
David Neeleman (left) at the delivery of Azul’s first E195-E2. (Photo courtesy of Embraer)

Related: Embraer delivers the first E195-E2, to Azul

Moxy has previously aimed to launch in 2021 when it is scheduled to begin taking delivery of new Airbus A220-300 jets. The airline has 60 aircraft on order.

A 2020 launch is far from certain. Moxy has yet to secure an Air Operator Certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, something the airline needs before it can begin to operate commercial passenger flights.

The certification process has proven a stumbling block to other recent U.S. startups. However, Neeleman is no stranger to the process having set up both JetBlue and Morris Air — which Southwest Airlines bought in 1994 — in the U.S.

Neeleman has previously described Moxy as a “technology company that happens to fly airplanes,” touting a focus on using technology for customer service. The airline plans to serve secondary markets that do not have nonstop service today.

Featured image by Luiz Souza/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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