The 2019 Paris Air Show has been extremely fruitful for the European plane-maker Airbus. Following the launch of new long-range narrow-body jets (A321XLRs) at the event on Jun 17, Airbus received its first order for 27 such jets from Air Lease AL — a leading aircraft leasing company. Subsequently, many airline heavyweights like American Airlines AAL have placed orders to the manufacturer for these single-aisle twin-jets.
Joining the bandwagon, JetBlue Airways JBLU has decided to convert 13 of its existing orders for the smaller Airbus A321neo to Airbus’ new offering as it aims to enter and subsequently expand in the trans-Atlantic market. The new planes are not only fuel-efficient but have an incredible 4700 nautical mile range. Following JetBlue’s decision, the Airbus order book for the newly-launched A321XLRs have exceeded 200. However, none of them are scheduled to be delivered before 2023.
We remind investors that, in April 2019, JetBlue announced its intention to start operating flights to London from Boston and New York in 2021. JetBlue, carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), intends to start operations using Airbus A321LR single-aisle aircraft. The move is aimed at competing with the likes of Delta Air Lines DAL and American Airlines, which have a significant presence in the trans-Atlantic market. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Notably, this Long Island City, New York-based company’s decision to acquire A321XLRs (delivery anticipated to commence in 2023) is in sync with its intention to fly to additional European destinations (particularly in south, central and northern Europe) from the United States’ east coast.
In a bid to modernize its fleet further, JetBlue, which aims to deliver earnings of $2.50-$3 by 2020, has also converted options for 10 Airbus A220-300s (deliveries anticipated to commence in 2025) to firm orders. The low-cost carrier’s decision to order additional A220s is in line with its objective to expand in the Americas.
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