WestJet, JetBlue founder commits to $5.4B aircraft deal for new airline

Lloyd Doyle
July 18, 2018

Last week, JetBlue announced it had ordered 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft with the option to purchase an additional 60, a move analysts said could bolster the program's ability to secure further orders at the marquee Farnborough Air Show.

"After years of USA airline consolidation, the conditions are improving for a new generation of US airline to emerge, focused on passenger service and satisfaction", said Mr Neeleman, who confirmed he would be the majority investor in the new venture.

Deliveries of the former C Series jets are slated to begin in 2021, a year after the planes are expected to start coming off a new assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

"The A220 will enable us to serve thinner routes in comfort without compromising cost, especially on longer-range missions", Neeleman said.

It follows last week announcement of 60 jets being ordered by U.S. airline JetBlue, which at full value, would be worth around £4bn for the new Airbus and Bombardier partnership.

The airline - now known as "Moxy" in a presentation, according to industry publication Airline Weekly - purchased 60 new Airbus A220-300 jets on Tuesday, in a preliminary deal worth $5.4 billion at current list prices.

Trade publication Airline Weekly reported in June that Neeleman's company plans to target smaller airports for entry into the USA market, hoping to draw passengers away from larger travel hubs, where flyers face longer waits in congested terminals.

The Brazilian-American entrepreneur has a long history of founding successful carriers.

The A220-100 and A220-300 models are single-aisle aircrafts that seat between 100 to 150 passengers.

Neeleman, who is a majority investor in the startup airline that has yet to be formally named, is also now an investor in Portugal's TAP airline and a controlling shareholder in Brazil's Azul airlines.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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