Planemaker Bombardier’s Belfast division has received a significant boost with confirmation that US airline JetBlue has ordered 60 C-Series aircraft with a option on a further 60.
The first sale announced since Airbus acquired a majority holding in the C-Series project also marks the rebrand of the aircraft as the Airbus A220.
JetBlue’s order is for the larger A220-300 model.
“JetBlue’s selection of the A220 aircraft as a complement to its growing A320 family fleet is a tremendous endorsement – both of the A220 itself and of the way these two aircraft can work together to provide airline network flexibility and a great passenger experience,” said Eric Schulz, chief commercial officer for Airbus. “JetBlue will be able to leverage the unbeatable efficiency of both the A321neo and the A220-300, as well as taking advantage of the roomiest and most passenger-pleasing cabins of any aircraft in their size categories.”
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said: “We are evolving our fleet for the future of JetBlue, and the A220-300’s impressive range and economics offer us flexibility and support our key financial and operating priorities.
“As JetBlue approaches 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.”
Announcing the renaming of the aircraft at its HQ in Toulouse, Guillaume Faury, Airbus president commercial aircraft paid tribute to the workforce at Bombardier and the supply chain who had “strived over the past years to bring this fantastic aircraft to the world.”
He said the 100- to 150-seat plane enters a new phase supported by Airbus’ vast resources under the “C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership” (CSALP) agreement between both companies and development agency Investment Québec.
The technology of the newly designed plane that results in higher fuel efficiency and quieter engines gives it a “decisive edge” in a very competitive market, added Eric Schulz, Airbus chief commercial officer.
“All these reasons contribute to my optimism that Airbus will support to make the A220 a great commercial success.
Philippe Balducchi, CSALP CEO added: “The CSALP partnership between Airbus, Bombardier and Investment Quebec is committed to bringing the world the very best aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat market, and JetBlue’s choice of the A220-300 shows that our team is producing a winner.
“We look forward to the A220 serving JetBlue and its customers well for many, many years.”