The nascent U.S. airline headed by JetBlue founder David Neeleman has ordered 60 midsized Airbus jets, with deliveries beginning in 2021.
The announcement, made by Airbus and Neeleman at the Farnborough Air Show in England on Tuesday, is Neeleman's first confirmation that he plans to establish the airline.
"After years of U.S. airline consolidation, the conditions are improving for a new generation of U.S. airlines to emerge, focused on passenger service and satisfaction," Neeleman said in prepared remarks.
Citing anonymous sources and a planning presentation it had viewed, the industry trade publication Airline Weekly first reported on Neeleman's plan in June. The nascent carrier is being called Moxy during the planning stages.
Airline Weekly also reported at that time that Moxy would focus its model on providing convenient and inexpensive point-to-point services between small airports that have lost connectivity due to U.S. airline industry consolidation. Moxy isn't planning to do connecting itineraries.
The Neeleman order was for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, a new generation, fuel-efficient plane with 130 to 160 seats. The A220 has a range of 3,800 miles.
The aircraft was known as the Bombardier CS300 prior to the formal merger of the Bombardier C Series program into Airbus this month.
"The A220 will enable us to serve thinner routes in comfort without compromising cost, especially on longer-range missions," Neeleman said. "With deliveries starting in 2021, we will have ample time to assemble a world-class management team and another winning business model."
Airbus says that the A220-300 delivers 20% lower fuel burn per seat than aircraft that preceded it.
Moxy is be the first commercial airline startup in the U.S. since Virgin America. Neeleman founded JetBlue, Canadian carrier WestJet and Brazilian carrier Azul. He is currently the co-owner of TAP Air Portugal.