- JetBlue Airways unveiled the cabin of its new Airbus A220 aircraft that will replace the ageing Embraer E190 flight.
- The 140-seat cabin is arranged in a unique 2-3 configuration with no shortage of the perks for which JetBlue is known including free in-flight entertainment and WiFi.
- Flights begin in the spring starting on the Boston-Fort Lauderdale route before the aircraft expands to cities across the US.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
JetBlue Airways on Tuesday unveiled the cabin of its newest arrival, the long-awaited Airbus A220-300. The first model arrived in New York on New Year’s Eve with plans to begin scheduled service in the spring and eventually phase out the tired Embraer E190s.
As with any new JetBlue plane, the A220 is chock-filled with new passenger-friendly upgrades while holding true to the airline’s staples including above-average legroom and free in-flight entertainment. The 140-seat plane features wider seats than its larger counterparts, high-definition televisions, and expanded in-seat power options.
The Airbus A220 is still new to the US market with Delta being the sole American owner of the plane until December 31, 2020, when the first JetBlue A220 arrived in New York.
Flyers can expect to see the plane flying first between Boston and Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the spring as JetBlue begins proving runs on its tried and true routes. But the opportunities are endless for the A220, especially on JetBlue’s route network.
JetBlue’s head of revenue and planning Scott Laurence told Insider that the jet will eventually be flying coast-to-coast thanks to its transcontinental range and it will serve the harder-to-reach airports in JetBlue’s network like Key West International in Florida.
We toured the aircraft to see the finished product for ourselves, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Take a look inside.
JetBlue has an order for 70 A220s, the smallest jet currently in production with Airbus after the program was taken over from Bombardier.
On a single flight, the A220 can fly 3,350 nautical miles and operate nearly any flight in JetBlue’s current schedule.
Its two Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines offer up to 25,000 pounds of thrust while providing a 40% reduction in fuel burn compared to the Embraer E190.
JetBlue also gave the aircraft a unique tail design, known as “hops” to signify the flights that make up a larger journey.
Inside the aircraft, 140 seats are spread across 28 rows and divided between what JetBlue calls its “core” seats and “even more space” seats.
Unlike JetBlue’s larger planes, the A220 has an interesting 2-3 configuration with middle seats on only one side of the plane.
The choice for couples or solo travellers would naturally be the two-seat pair.
And larger groups travelling together would be the ideal candidates for the three-seat side.
JetBlue chose the Collins Meridian seat for this aircraft with 18.6 inches of width, the widest in the airline’s fleet.
Each seat comes with the standard features including adjustable headrests…
10.1-inch high-definition in-flight entertainment screens…
And in-seat power. There are three options here including a 110v AC power outlet and two USB charging ports with USB-A, and USB-C connectivity.
All seats also feature a two-inch recline, even those in the very last row.
Cushioning each seat is a vegan material called “ultraleather,” which JetBlue says provides greater comfort and allows passengers to sit in the seat instead of on top of it.
The first four rows and 24 seats are dedicated to the even more space cabin.
These seats come at a premium but feature 35 inches of legroom.
The rest of the cabin, except for the two exit rows, consists of 110 core seats.
Taller passengers can rejoice as these seats still feature a generous 32 inches of pitch and the seat-back pockets are curved for greater shin space.
There’s no shortage of storage space, either, as the seat-back pockets feature a mix of mesh and solid holders inside and out. JetBlue says the motivation was the increasing number of devices the average traveller brings onboard.
The in-flight entertainment system is top-of-the-line with on-demand movies, television shows, and games for passengers.
The system includes a DVR functionality where passengers can pause and rewind live television.
Passengers can also pair their devices to control the system since the armrests no longer feature built-in remotes.
JetBlue is offering complimentary satellite WiFi on the A220 so passengers can be connected at all times, even when overwater.
Those seeking more natural entertainment, though, will notice the windows are also larger and perfectly at head level.
And those gazing out of said windows will notice that the tail design is also replicated on the winglets, a first for a JetBlue aircraft.
The best seats on the plane are here in the exit row as the seats feature bounds of extra legroom, moveable armrests, and a full recline.
The two-seat pairs offer the best of both worlds with great views from the window and easy access to the aisle with no middle seat to jump over.
The rear cabin walls were blank during our visit but JetBlue says that the plane still has some branding to install, as the airline has done on other jets.
The cabin has an incredibly spacious feel overall and the extra-wide seats don’t impact the aisle in any way.
But the seats are only one portion of the aircraft with countless smaller touches incorporated into the design. In the galley, the different colours on the floor indicate the passenger area from the flight attendant workspace.
Even the seemingly innocuous galley walls hide a small secret.
Look closely and you’ll notice that the design is a morse code pattern that spells out none other than “JetBlue.” It’s likely that 99% of passengers won’t pick up on it but those in the military just might.
The plane has three lavatories including two in the back and one in the front. The rear lavatories are angled to provide more space.
Inside, the lavatory walls feature a subway tile pattern in homage to JetBlue being New York’s self-described hometown airline.
Even flight attendants get an upgrade with galley’s upgraded to include a vanity…
And tray tables of their own.
The latches are also orange, which JetBlue says more planes are adopting to give the area more colour. The design team left no stone unturned.
Above the cabin are these skylights, which turn into mood lights during the flight. Passengers will also notice music playing during boarding.
The overhead bins are also larger to allow for more carry-on bags.
And finally, here’s the ultra-modern A220 cockpit complete with high-definition screens and side-stick controls.
It largely resembles the cockpit of a private jet, which is par for the course considering the aircraft originated as a Bombardier plane.
These thoughtful touches show that JetBlue is committed to modernity and, hopefully, will not make the mistakes of the past where aircraft went years without getting a new look.
JetBlue plans to take delivery of seven examples of the plane this year alone, growing its fleet to eight A220s by year’s end.
Passenger flights will begin in the spring with this plane becoming more commonplace in the upcoming years as more models arrive at the airline.
JetBlue has once again raised the bar for what’s to be expected from an aircraft with its new A220, outdoing even itself as the airline is in the midst of a fleet restyling for the larger A320.
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