JetBlue reveals maiden Airbus A220

The European manufacturer rolled out the airline’s first example which is due for delivery in December 

JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A220 was rolled out of the airframer’s facility in Mobile, Alabama yesterday (Oct 19), ahead of a December delivery and New Year service entry. 

JetBlue Airways
The Airbus A220-300 was originally designed and manufactuered by Bombardier as the CS300. JetBlue

The aircraft, an A220-300, is currently registered C-GPJH (c/n 55099) and has been painted in the airline’s standard livery but has a special vertical stabiliser design called “Hops”, which according to JetBlue, represents the idea of connections forming a part of a larger journey. 

The narrowbody is part of a January 2019 order for 60 examples of the larger variant which are due to replace its entire Embraer E190 fleet. The New York-based carrier first took delivery of the Brazilian-built jet in September 2005 and completed its order for the type in October 2013. 

The blue and orange elements seen here on the engines and leading edge of the wings are temporary. JetBlue

The move to the A220 will mean that upon completion, JetBlue will boast an all-Airbus fleet which currently includes A320s and A321s. 

Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan engines, Airbus says the powerplants offer at least 20% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation aircraft.

With a range of up to 3,200nm (5,020km), JetBlue is expected to use the type primarily on short-haul routes from New York, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale but also on longer transcontinental services. 

Upon handover, the airline will become the second in the United States, after Delta Air Lines, to operate the jet.  

Elsewhere, airBaltic is the largest operator of the -300 variant with 23 in its fleet so far. Swiss Air International Lines operates nine -100s and 20 of the larger variant, and is the only airline currently flying both models.