JetBlue Just Bought a Plane That Can Reach Deep Into Europe
Airbus and JetBlue announced Thursday that the New York-based low-cost carrier is continuing to expand its sizable Airbus fleet.
JetBlue converted 13 existing orders for A321neos to the XLR variant, and exercised an option for 10 additional A220-300s. The XLR is the longest-range single-aisle airplane available today. It's the same Airbus that American Airlines also just ordered to replace its Boeing 757s, and that Frontier just bought as well.
JetBlue has orders for 85 A321neos on the books. In April, JetBlue converted 13 of the neo orders to long-range A321LR variants, according to Airbus. The XLR adds even more range, and is able to fly nonstop 5,400 miles, or 15 percent more than the LR.
JetBlue also previously ordered 60 A220-300s, the Airbus twinjet that's going to replace its Embraer 190 jets. The A220 is already flying in the US with Delta, and offering an improved passenger experience compared to the previous generation of regional jets.
The new orders come as JetBlue prepares for its first transatlantic routes. The airline announced plans to serve London from New York and Boston beginning in 2021. JetBlue has not yet said how it plans to deploy the A321XLRs when it receives them, but Airbus touted the aircraft's ability to serve longer routes between the US and Europe in its press materials when the plane was introduced at the Paris Air Show earlier this week. If JetBlue wants to go into continental Europe, now it has the airplane to do so.