JetBlue orders 30 additional A321 aircraft; grows Mint product

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By admin July 28, 2016 20:05

JetBlue orders 30 additional A321 aircraft; grows Mint product

New York-based JetBlue Airways has amended its purchase agreement with Airbus to include an additional 15 Airbus A321ceo (current engine option) and 15 A321neo (new engine option) aircraft.  The airline, which already operates A321s, has not yet announced its engine selection for the newly ordered aircraft.  Beginning in 2019, JetBlue has the flexibility to configure the New Engine Option aircraft to the Longer Range version of the A321 – the A321LR.

“Airbus has been our partner since the beginning, and we are proud that our partnership continues today,” said Robin Hayes, president and CEO, JetBlue. “The A321 is an incredible aircraft that is delivering results for our business. We intend to deploy many of these aircraft to expand our successful Mint experience and our west coast presence.”
Many of JetBlue’s newly ordered A321 aircraft are expected to be delivered from Airbus’ newest manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.

JetBlue currently operates a fleet of 160 A320 Family aircraft, including 130 A320s and 30 A321s. Including this order, the airline’s backlog of Airbus aircraft comprises 116 aircraft: 25 A320neo, 31 A321ceo, and 60 A321neo aircraft.
JetBlue has announced that it intends to further expand its Mint premium product with this new order. JetBlue believes the additional aircraft will allow it to grow its transcontinental popularity and build west coast frequencies with a targeted approach that leverages its east coast strength.

Under the amendment, JetBlue will take delivery of incremental aircraft over seven years. Specifically, Airbus is scheduled to deliver 15 incremental A321ceos (current engine option) starting in 2017, with five Mint deliveries expected in 2017 and the intention for most incremental deliveries in the following years to come in Mint. Further, JetBlue expects to take delivery of 15 incremental A321neos (new engine option) starting in 2020. The amendment provides flexibility to take deliveries in Mint or all-core configurations based on market opportunities. While it has not yet committed to this fleet type, JetBlue will have the option to configure the NEO aircraft in the long range version of the A321 – the A321LR – starting in 2019.

“Mint has surpassed our expectations on every customer and financial measure,” said Robin Hayes, president and CEO, JetBlue. “Mint won over customers in a big way and has transformed the performance of our transcontinental franchise. We have only scratched the surface on what Mint can do to disrupt the valuable coast-to-coast market.”

The plan is consistent with JetBlue’s disciplined approach to capacity growth and commitment to expanding its west coast presence by focusing on a proven product that drives value. With the additional aircraft, JetBlue’s available seat miles (ASM) growth will largely remain in the high single digits, as previously stated.

JetBlue plans to announce further expansion of Mint routes at a later date. By year end 2016, JetBlue expects to have a total of 37 A321 aircraft, including 17 in the Mint configuration. By year 2017, JetBlue expects to have a total of 52 A321 aircraft, including 31 in the Mint configuration. By year end 2018, JetBlue expects to have a total of 63 A321 aircraft, 6 of which will be A321neo.

Click here for Airline Economics article on JetBlue’s Mint product when it was first introduced in 2014: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/40252227#/6dce1166/42

admin
By admin July 28, 2016 20:05