The Airbus A220-300 flies for the first time on at the Airbus delivery centre, in Colomiers south-western France. Picture: AFP/PASCAL PAVANI
The Airbus A220-300 flies for the first time on at the Airbus delivery centre, in Colomiers south-western France. Picture: AFP/PASCAL PAVANI

Paris — European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said on Thursday that it has finalised the sale of 120 A220-300 single-aisle jets worth $11bn.

Sixty of the aircraft will go to low-cost US carrier JetBlue and another 60 to a start-up code-named Moxy that is to begin operations in 2021, Airbus said.

In 2017, Airbus acquired the A220-300 aircraft line, which Canadian firm Bombardier developed as its C Series, and which represents a new generation designed for airlines looking for 100- to 150-seat planes.

Bombardier has struggled to win customers even though the planes offer fuel-savings similar to a new class of larger aircraft sold by Airbus and US rival Boeing.

“JetBlue has proven there is no contradiction between economic efficiency and a high quality product,” said Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer in a statement. “Their endorsement of the A220 proves this aircraft meets those two criteria better than any alternative in its segment.”

Moxy is an airline venture led by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue and Azul Brazilian Airlines and who is now the controlling investor in TAP Air Portugal.

The aircraft are to be assembled in a new Airbus factory in the US state of Alabama, with work to begin later this month.

The A220’s seating capacity falls between that of traditional commuter planes and Airbus’s A320 family, which can seat from 180 to 240 people and which has become an airline workhorse on medium-range routes.

AFP