Airlines Aviation News North America

What Planes Does JetBlue Use on Its Flights?

JetBlue has over the years grown to be one of the largest airlines in the US. It low cost flights have redesigned the business model for budget airlines. None of it would be possible without their equipment, the planes. So let’s take a close look at which planes JetBlue uses and how their fleet is composed.

The Peculiarity of the JetBlue Fleet

JetBlue is a little different from other low cost carriers (LCC), in terms of how their fleet is composed. They are neither a one manufacturer airline nor do they operate just one aircraft type. Two things that are usually the bread and butter of budget airlines all over the world.

JetBlue’s fleet has three different aircraft types from two manufacturers:

  • Airbus
  • Embraer

This is due to the extremely varied demand the airline faces. It in fact operates, long haul, domestic and regional routes using only narrow-body jets. Some secondary destinations just simply put just won’t have enough demand to fill bigger planes.

JetBlue Embraer E190 used on shorter flights in its distinctive white and blue livery. These planes are used on shorter domestic routes or on some that have less demand by Jetblue.

Which Aircraft Are in the JetBlue Fleet?

JetBlue, although not being a one manufacturer airline, operates quite a streamlined fleet. Most of its aircraft are produced by Airbus with the only exception being the smaller regional jets which are Brazilian made.

ManufacturerTypeQuantity
Airbus Logo AirbusA320-200125
Airbus Logo AirbusA321-20063
Airbus Logo AirbusA220-30030
Embraer Logo EmbraerE-19028
Airbus Logo AirbusA321neoLR24
Airbus Logo AirbusA321neo10

The largest planes in the JetBlue fleet are the Airbus A321s. The carrier operates 3 different variants of Airbus’ most successful aircraft type:

  • A321neo
  • A321neo(LR)
  • A321-200

The LR versions of the jet are also those used by the American carrier to operate its first long range transatlantic sectors to Amsterdam and London. It’s therefore no surprise that these planes feature the most up to date cabins in the airlines’ fleet.

JetBlue Airbus A321-200 with winglets on final approach. The aircraft is used for domestic and medium haul international flights.

The Cabin Configurations

What is all the more interesting when looking at the JetBlue fleet is how their planes are setup. With such a varied route offering the airline has in fact had to setup its planes to cater to both domestic short haul services and international transatlantic flights.

Shorter domestic routes will get service by the most simple and standard configuration jets. That means the one travel class cabins, something very common in Europe even among full service carriers on short haul flights, much less in the US. These short haul configured planes, make up a large part of their A321-200 fleet and all of their A320-200 and E190 fleet. The seat layout on these planes features a one class cabin with:

Number of SeatsSeat Layout
A220-3001402-3
A320-2001503-3
A320-2001623-3
A321-2002003-3
A321neo2003-3
E1901002-2

Alternatively JetBlue also operates a configuration much more similar to a traditional full service carrier. Part of the A320 and A321 jets are fitted with the airline’s Business Class product which jacks up yields on lucrative longer range operations, such as coast to coast and transatlantic flights. The selection of A320s and A321s for longer services are fitted with JetBlue’s Business class offering Mint.

Mint SeatsEconomy SeatsMint Seat LayoutEconomy Seat Layout
A321-200161431-13-3
A321neo161441-13-3
A321neoLR241141-13-3

The Failed JetBlue Spirit Merger

JetBlue faced a big issue coming out of the covid crisis. The airline rapidly came to grips with a reality where it was miles behind the big 4 airlines and incapable of competing with its current scale. In order to become more prominent on the American market the airline attempted to takeover the struggling ultra low cost carrier Spirit Airlines.

The merger would have been a good match for the two airlines. They both operate large numbers of Airbus planes and would have achieved a much larger scale operations-wise. However it all fell apart when the DoJ blocked the two airlines from joining forces. It all ended with JetBlue pulling back from the deal paying Spirit the 69$ million dollars in agreed compensation. JetBlue will therefore have to attempt to grow its scale organically, which will be all but a mean feat. The final words on the failed merger came from the airline’s new CEO:

We believed this merger was worth pursuing because it would have unleashed a national low-fare, high-value competitor to the Big Four airlines. We are proud of the work we did with Spirit to lay out a vision to challenge the status quo, but given the hurdles to closing that remain, we decided together that both airlines’ interests are better served by moving forward independently. We wish the very best going forward to the entire Spirit team.

Joanna Geraghty, chief executive officer, JetBlue.

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