Airbus to sell 60 smaller planes to JetBlue

This photo taken on July 10, 2018 shows the new Airbus A220-300 parked on the tarmac on July 10, 2018 at the Airbus delivery center, in Colomiers southwestern France. / AFP Photo / Pascal Pavani 

NEW YORK, United States (AFP)–Airbus announced Tuesday a deal to sell US airline JetBlue 60 airplanes that were formerly part of Canadian manufacturer Bombardier’s C series.

It was the first contract since the aircraft were rechristened by the European aerospace giant as the A220-300, which can carry between 100 and 150 passengers.

Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding with US carrier JetBlue for a contract worth about $5.4 billion based on list prices, the company said.

The aircraft is the larger of two C-series planes produced by Bombardier prior to a joint venture with Airbus that went into effect July 1.

Airbus held a ceremony earlier Tuesday at its Toulouse, France headquarters, calling the rebranding of the planes “an historic moment.”

The two companies announced their joint venture in October, a move that initially gave the European company a leg up on rival Boeing in the small-jet market.

However, Boeing last week said it reached a similar deal with Brazil’s Embraer that would give it a line of smaller planes to compete in that segment.

Airbus said it also reached a deal with JetBlue to convert 25 current orders for the Airbus A320neo into orders for the larger A321neo.

“JetBlue’s selection of the A220 aircraft as a complement to its growing A320 Family fleet is a tremendous endorsement, both of the A220 itself and of the way these two aircraft can work together to provide airline network flexibility and a great passenger experience,” said Eric Schulz, chief commercial officer for Airbus.

© Agence France-Presse