A new US airline start-up has announced a commitment for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2021.
The memorandum of understanding was revealed at the Farnborough Air Show.
This new airline is backed up by a group of experienced investors led by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue, investor in TAP in Portugal and controlling shareholder in Azul airlines in Brazil.
“After years of US airline consolidation, the conditions are improving for a new generation of US airline to emerge, focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” said David Neeleman, majority investor in the new venture.
“The A220 will enable us to serve thinner routes in comfort without compromising cost, especially on longer-range missions.
“With deliveries starting in 2021, we will have ample time to assemble a world-class management team and another winning business model.”
Complementing the A320 family, the A220-100 and A220-300 models cover the segment between 100 and 150 seats and offer a comfortable five-abreast cabin.
With the most advanced aerodynamics, CFRP materials, high-bypass engines and fly-by-wire controls, the A220 delivers 20 per cent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation aircraft.
The type will serve a worldwide market for smaller single-aisle airliners, estimated at least 7,000 such aircraft over the next 20 years.
Airbus markets and supports the A220 aircraft, which is manufactured under the recently finalised partnership agreement between Airbus, Bombardier and Investment Québec.
“This US airline start-up’s decision for the A220 as the platform on which to launch their new business model is a testament to the passenger appeal and operating economics of this outstanding aircraft,” said Eric Schulz, chief commercial officer for Airbus.
“This commitment confirms the important role the A220 aircraft now occupies in our Airbus single-aisle portfolio.”
The A220-300 will be powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.