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Tuesday was a big day for Airbus. First, we learned that effective immediately, Bombardier’s former CS100 and CS300 aircraft were renamed A220-100 and A220-300, respectively. It was only a matter of hours until we learned of the rebranded program’s first major order — a purchase of 60 Airbus A220-300s by JetBlue.
While many details regarding the new order remain unknown, JetBlue held a call Wednesday morning to discuss the fleet update. As we previously learned, the carrier intends to use the new aircraft to replace its fleet of Embraer 190s. However, short- and medium-haul routes currently served by E190s aren’t the only ones that the new planes will be used for — JetBlue plans to use them for transcontinental routes as well.
With a range of 3,300 miles, the new planes will undoubtedly provide added network flexibility. That said, while the A220s are expected to have enough range to fly some routes to Europe, including Boston to London, the carrier said that transatlantic flights are not on its immediate radar at the moment. JetBlue’s been eyeing flights from the US to Europe for quite some time now, but the carrier made it clear that we’ll have to wait longer for an update on that.
JetBlue hasn’t yet decided if it will install its phenomenal Mint product on the new planes or what the pitch will be for standard seats, but between the carrier’s track record and what we know about the A220 aircraft, it’s safe to say that the new planes should represent a major upgrade when it comes to passenger comfort — regardless of the cabin you’re flying. JetBlue is known for offering the most legroom in coach, and Airbus boasts that “the A220 offers the comfort of a wide body aircraft in a single-aisle cabin with a low environmental footprint.”
The new plane will be equipped with spacious overhead bins and extra-large windows that bring more natural light into the cabin. “The A220’s cabin design offers customers the best inflight experience,” the airline said in a press release.
The carrier expects to take delivery of the new aircraft beginning in 2020, at which point it will begin phasing out its Embraer 190 fleet.
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