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US aviation: Moxy and JetBlue, coincidentally ordering the Airbus 220

David Neeleman’s potential return to the US market with Moxy has drawn considerable attention, both for his proposed business plan and the boost a 60 aircraft order would give the CSeries aircraft programme (now the A200) in North America.

There is no denying Mr Neeleman’s positive track record in establishing successful airlines, and in theory, the business plan for Moxy (the working title for the airline) is viable. But the US’ largest airlines will not rest on their laurels in competing with new entrants, even if the plan is to operate from secondary airports that have got lost in the shuffle of consolidation.

Moxy’s product proposition is more attractive than those on offer from some of the ULCCs serving secondary airports in the US, but it is tough to conclude that the passenger base from secondary airports could sustain an airline with 60 aircraft.

JetBlue, an airline founded by Mr Neeleman in the early 2000s, also just gave the CSeries programme a boost by ordering the same model as Moxy has reportedly ordered.

The aircraft are replacements for JetBlue’s Embraer 190s, and the timing of JetBlue’s order and Moxy’s plans surfacing in the market could be coincidental.  JetBlue has a different mission for the aircraft, and is stressing that its latest aircraft order is simply a replacement for its Embraer 190s rather than signalling a change in its network strategy.

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