JetBlue just ordered 60 Bombardier C-Series jets, now called the Airbus A220, at fire sale prices.
Now JetBlue’s founder, Dave Neeleman, is about to finalize his own order for 60 Airbus A220s to launch his new US airline that’s tentatively named ‘Moxy’ (but I believe that’s just a placeholder and will change prior to launch, if only because it’s also the name of the Marriott hotel brand with small rooms that launched while eschewing desks).
Swiss International Air Lines new Bombardier CSeries passenger jet on display at Singapore Airshow, Copyright: prestonia / 123RF Stock Photo
Neeleman led Morris Air, which sold to Southwest, and when his non-compete ended he launched JetBlue. He also helped launch WestJet, and as a dual Brazilian citizen also launched Azul there. He’s led the turnaround of Star Alliance member TAP Air Portugal as well.
And now he’s working to start an airline that will have scale almost immediately at launch. Investors include former Air Canada CEO and United Chairman Robert Milton. And he’s reportedly raised $100 million to offer point-to-point service from smaller airports outside of large cities bypassing hubs, using low costs to offer lower fares.
Initial reports last month when news of the airline plan broke had them planning to acquire 60 of these planes, though it sounds like a formal order may be close — with an announcement coming potentially this week at the Farnborough air show, and deliveries coming between 2020 and 2024.
This aircraft can fly transcons and also short transatlantics from the Northeast. Their investor presentation suggests they plan to offer free Wifi despite operating as a low cost carrier, and use the aircraft for five-across seating (fewer middle seats) generating 19 inch seat width (versus 18 on an Airbus narrowbody and 17 on a Boeing narrowbody).
The only major US airline that wasn’t around 20 years ago is JetBlue — founded by Neeleman. What he doesn’t have this time, that was crucial to JetBlue’s success, was Senator Chuck Schumer moving heaven and earth to open up New York JFK for his launch hence the small regional airport strategy.