CSALP, the Airbus-Bombardier partnership for the A220, formerly CSeries, has won a bellwether order for 60 aircraft from JetBlue. These 60 A220-300 aircraft will replace the 60 Embraer E190 models currently in its fleet beginning in 2020.
The transaction was announced after the introduction of the new designation for the aircraft earlier today in Toulouse and has a value at list prices of $5.4 billion. The carrier also secured an additional 60 options for deliveries starting in 2025. The A220-300 can seat between 135 and 160 passengers, depending on seat configuration. JetBlue has the option to convert some order to the smaller A220-100 model, which seats between 106-130 passengers, should it become necessary. This is the first order announcement since the partnership took effect earlier this month.
JetBlue also upsized an existing order for 25 A320neo aircraft to the larger A321neo model. With Airbus holding a controlling interest in the A220, JetBlue will transition to an all Airbus fleet, replacing the 100 seat Embraer E190s it currently uses in smaller markets.
The A220-300 burns 40 percent less fuel than the E190s it is replacing, according to the airline, which also cited its lower emissions and noise profile. The carrier has the right to change the order to smaller A220-100 models should it choose to do so.
This is a significant blow to Embraer, which is the incumbent at JetBlue and would have had substantial commonality benefits from moving to the E2 Jets, and a major victory for the Airbus-Bombardier partnership, who have been working this transaction for some time.
We will provide further analysis on the implications of this transaction, and its implications for the A220 and E2 programs, as more details become available.