At the Le Bourget International Air Show in Paris on June 21, JetBlue Airways and Airbus announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the airline to purchase 40 A320neos.
The airline has not yet announced its engine selection for the new-engine-option aircraft. (The ‘neo’ in A320neo stands for ‘new engine option’.)
In addition, the Paris Airshow MOU will result in JetBlue Airways converting 30 of its current orders for A320 aircraft to the larger A321 model, which will feature enhanced wingtip devices called Sharklets. These will be the first A321s to be operated by JetBlue, which to date oeprates no aircraft larger than the A320.
The New York-based airline has long made the A320 family the core of its fleet, starting with the delivery of its very first aircraft in 1999, an Airbus A320. JetBlue has ordered 173 A320s in total – not including the June 21 announcement.
“JetBlue’s very first flight was operated by an A320, and with today’s news, we are further planning our future fleet with Airbus, our longest-standing business partner,” saiys Dave Barger, president and CEO of JetBlue Airways. “This fleet announcement is driven by our successful network strategy, and it also supports our financial goal of sustainable growth while respecting our energy and environmental responsibilities. And our crewmembers and customers love the Airbus.”
The Airbus A320neo, launched in late 2010, is the latest product innovation at Airbus. The new A319, A320 and A321 models feature a choice of two new engines – the PurePower PW1100G from Pratt & Whitney or the LEAP-X from CFM International.
The aircraft also feature large wingtip devices known as Sharklets. Together, says Airbus, these features will result in a 15 per cent fuel burn reduction over today’s A320s, corresponding to an annual carbon dioxide reduction of 3,600 metric tons per aircraft.