JetBlue Airways revised an earlier purchase agreement with Airbus SAS, adding 15 more Airbus A321ceo jets and 15 more A321neo aircraft. Airbus did not report the new value of the contract — which updates a September 2014 JetBlue purchase of three Airbus A320 aircraft, 44 A321s, and 30 A320neos — though it was independently estimated at $3.6 billion based on current list prices.
The Airbus A320 family aircraft are short-to-medium range, twin-engine jets offered in four basic models. The A320ceo (current engine option) is powered by a choice of engines that includes the CFM International CFM56, the International Aero Engines V2500, or Pratt & Whitney’s whose PW6000 engines. The A320neo (new engine option) is offered with CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engine.
JetBlue already operates 160 aircraft in the A320 family — 130 A320s and 30 A321s; counting the newly ordered aircraft, its backlog of Airbus jets totals 25 A320neo, 31 A321ceo, and 60 A321neo aircraft. But, Airbus noted the airline has not revealed its engine selection for the new A321s, and that decision may be determined by JetBlue’s plans to launch trans-Atlantic service in the near future. Under the revised contract, beginning in 2019 JetBlue has the option to configure the A320neo jets (new engine option) to the A321LR (longer range) version.
“Airbus has been our partner since the beginning, and we are proud that our partnership continues today,” stated JetBlue president and CEO Robin Hayes. “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,” he added, suggesting the possibility it will be adding to its longer-distance routes.
“Mint” is a premium-seating package that JetBlue offers on some transcontinental flights, and on some some flights between the U.S. and Caribbean destinations, on specially configured Airbus A321 aircraft.
A large number of the new A321 aircraft JetBlue has ordered are expected to be assembled at the new Airbus manufacturing plant in Mobile, Ala. The first jet completed there was an A321 delivered to JetBlue in April.
“When we decided to build an assembly line in the U.S., we did it to help meet the increasing demand from our U.S. customers,” stated Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy.