JetBlue founder David Neeleman is starting a new airline dubbed “Moxy” in investor presentations. The new venture took a step forward with a tentative deal to buy 60 Airbus A220-300s. A memorandum of understanding between Airbus and Neeleman’s group was announced at the Farnborough Airshow in England on Tuesday.
“After years of U.S. airline consolidation, the conditions are improving for a new generation of U.S. airline to emerge, focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” David Neeleman said in a statement. “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 airplane deal is worth $5.4 Billion based on list price though most orders or this size include steep discounts.
Neeleman’s new venture is seeking to fill a gap left in the market from airline consolidation. With fewer airlines to choose from customers are increasingly being forced to fly on full-service carriers which connect through a shrinking number of increasingly busy hub airports.
According to Airline Weekly “the startup sees big opportunity in smallish airports, detecting consumer frustration with increasingly congested mega-hubs in regions like the U.S. northeast and west coast. Consolidation, it says, has reduced options while creating a “comfortable oligopoly” of carriers with high fares and higher-than ever profits.”
Airline Weekly said likely places for service include Providence; Orlando Sanford; St. Petersburg, Florida; Phoenix-Mesa; McClellan-Palomar near San Diego; Newburgh/Stewart, New York and Trenton, and New Jersey.
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A220 Features Unique Capabilities
The Airbus A220 is in a class of its own due to its size, range, and operating cost. The airplane is a new design capable of flying Mach 0.78 up to 3,300 nm. The two variants of the airplane share significant parts commonality, with the larger -300 variant purchased by Moxy being 12.2 feet longer.
The airplanes empty weight is 2,500 lighter than conventional airplanes through the use of aluminum-lithium for the fuselage and resin-transfer-infused carbon fiber for the wing. The A220 is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofans. The large fan turns slower than previous generation turbofans due to a 3:1 reduction gearbox between the turbine engine core and fan.
The Airbus A220 interior is arranged in 2 by 3 seating in economy class. Cabin windows are the largest in the single-aisle class and cabin noise is among the lowest in the industry.