Just days after taking delivery of its very first A321 aircraft, JetBlue Airways has placed a new order for 15 A321ceo (current engine option) and 20 A321neo (new engine option) aircraft. In addition, the airline has opted to upsize 8 A320ceo and 10 A320neo aircraft currently on backlog to 8 A321ceo and 10 A321neo, respectively. This order marks the 10,000th order for an Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
"We are pleased to convert some of our A320 positions to A321s, and order additional A321s to better match capacity with demand," said JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger. "The A321 is the ideal aircraft for our high density markets. In addition, a subfleet of the A321s will power our Mint premium service on the New York-Los Angeles and New York-San Francisco markets. It is the right aircraft for JetBlue's lucrative routes. We eagerly look forward to the Sharklet retrofits and -NEO aircraft to further reduce operating costs."
Since its launch in the 1984, the A320 Family has continued to evolve with the demands of the market, with the latest innovations being the A320neo and the Sharklets fuel saving wing tip devices. The A320neo features fuel-efficient new engines which bring enhanced range, and Sharklets which result in up to four percent reduced fuel burn. The A320neo is the fastest selling commercial aircraft ever, with some 60 percent of the market in sales. Nearly 2,400 NEO aircraft have been sold since the programme’s launch.
“JetBlue launched its business with an all-Airbus fleet, demonstrating they are a forward-thinking airline,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “The fact that they are turning to the NEO and larger Airbus aircraft overall makes it clear that they know how to please their passengers and maximize profits. In addition, JetBlue has always been a great partner in the Airbus Sharklet programme and have been instrumental in our ability to launch the in-service retrofit option.”
This order marks, with JetBlue as a partner, the launch of the Sharklet retrofit programme, which allows airlines currently flying A320ceo aircraft the option of optimizing their aircraft’s performance with the addition of Sharklets. (See separate press release for further details)
JetBlue will be the first airline in the world to take delivery of an aircraft from Airbus’ newest assembly facility, currently under construction in Mobile, Alabama. The facility will create 1,000 new jobs in the U.S. Gulf Coast region, and is part of the strategy to enhance Airbus’ global competitiveness by meeting the growing needs of its customers in the United States and elsewhere. Deliveries at the Mobile facility will begin in 2016. Airbus anticipates the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year by 2018.