United States airline places order for 60 aircraft to be built in Belfast

Airbus renamed the C Series jet acquired from Bombardier Inc. the A220.					Christophe Morin  Bloomberg  Bloomberg

Airbus renamed the C Series jet acquired from Bombardier Inc. the A220. Christophe Morin Bloomberg Bloomberg

The airline - now known as "Moxy" in a presentation, according to industry publication Airline Weekly - purchased 60 new Airbus A220-300 jets on Tuesday, in a preliminary deal worth $5.4 billion at current list prices.

JetBlue Airways aircrafts are pictured at departure gates at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York June 15, 2013.

It follows last week announcement of 60 jets being ordered by United States airline JetBlue, which at full value, would be worth around £4bn for the new Airbus and Bombardier partnership. "With deliveries starting in 2021, we will have ample time to assemble a world-class management team and another winning business model".

Formerly known as Bombardier's CSeries, the aircraft was renamed the A220 last week, weaving it into Airbus' fleet, which includes the A320, A330, A350 and A380.

Neeleman is exploring the possible creation of a new low-priced carrier in the USA, trade publications Airline Weekly and Airfinance Journal reported last month.

"This commitment confirms the important role the A220 aircraft now occupies in our Airbus single-aisle portfolio".

The aircraft are to deliver from 2021 onwards and will be placed with an unspecified new United States start-up carrier.

Neeleman said the aircraft with up to 150 seats will enable the airline to serve secondary routes, especially longer-range flights.

Neeleman, who is a majority investor in the startup airline that has yet to be formally named, is also now an investor in Portugal's TAP airline and a controlling shareholder in Brazil's Azul airlines.

If the last hurdles are removed, a deal could be announced as early as this week at the Farnborough air show in the United Kingdom, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

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