US to have a new LCC and it just bought 60 A220s at Farnborough
Earlier in 2018 a rumor broke out that David Neeleman – founder of the U.S. low-cost carrier JetBlue, co-owner of Portugal’s flag carrier TAP Air Portugal, and controlling shareholder in Brazilian Azul Airlines – is preparing to launch another low-cost airline in the U.S. The fact that the news are indeed more than a rumor has now been confirmed, as the new carrier placed an order for 60 Airbus A220 jets at the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow 2018.
“After years of U.S. airline consolidation, the conditions are improving for a new generation of U.S. airlines to emerge, focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” Neeleman was quoted as saying in a statement.
According to Airbus, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 60 Airbus A220-300s, with deliveries beginning in 2021. The aircraft are going to be powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines.
“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,” the airline mogul added.
Meet Moxy Airways
The U.S. start-up airline, known as Moxy Airways, is going to offer point-to-point services from secondary airports in the U.S. Its launch date, reported by several media channels in June 2018, was to be 2020. However, based on the A220 delivery date, it appears that the carrier might be aiming to begin operations in 2021.
Moxy Airways is driven by an initial investment of $100 million and backed by Neeleman-led group of investors, which also includes Bob Milton and Henri Courpron – former presidents of Air Canada and International Lease Finance Corporation accordingly, A21 reports.
Competition with Jet Blue?
Similarly, Jet Blue – the low-cost carrier set up by Neeleman in the early 2000s – ordered 60 Airbus A220-300 jets earlier in July 2018. The aircraft are going to be powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) PW1500G engines and delivery should begin in 2020. The carrier also secured an option for 60 additional A220s their delivery beginning in 2025.
The A220s are going to replace JetBlue’s existing fleet of 60 Embraer E190 aircraft. According to the carrier, “The aircraft’s range and seating capacity will add flexibility to JetBlue’s network strategy as it targets growth in its focus cities, including options to schedule it for transcontinental flying. The aircraft also opens the door to new markets and routes that would have been unprofitable with JetBlue’s existing fleet.”