NEW YORK — JetBlue’s newest aircraft, the Airbus A321neo, officially entered scheduled service earlier this week. The aircraft, named after the airline’s founder, David Neeleman, took to the skies as flight B6001 from New York-John F Kennedy Airport and landed in Ft Lauderdale to recreate the very first JetBlue flight that took place back in 2000.
The day before the big event, Airways was given a tour of its newest addition to the fleet.
The A321neo is powered by two Pratt & Whitney GTF engines, which produce a smaller noise footprint and offer lower operating costs compared with the airline’s older planes. The new jets will enable JetBlue to fly further than they have ever flown before.
With a 20% increase in fuel efficiency, the A321neo’s range is extended up to 500 nautical miles over the A321ceo.
While the A321neo will operate throughout JetBlue’s existing network, the longer-range flying capabilities of the aircraft open up a host of new markets which the airline’s existing fleet could not serve with nonstop flights, including new service from JFK to Guayaquil, Ecuador beginning December 5, and to Georgetown, Guyana, beginning April 2, 2020.
Once inside the aircraft, passengers will find a very similar interior to what is being deployed to most of the carrier’s fleet, and what the airline calls the Phase 2 retrofit.
The aircraft is configured in an all-economy class with 200 seats arranged in a 3-3 layout.
If you have not flown on one of JetBlue’s retrofitted aircraft, you are in for a real treat. First off, the slimline seats by Collins Aerospace Meridian feature memory foam cushions an adjustable headrest to maximize comfort.
The seatbacks have been redesigned with mesh pockets to store water bottles or personal devices and a larger pocket for laptops.
USB ports are now at every seat-back monitor and easily accessible.
The best part of the in-flight experience is the new IFE 10.1 inch HD screen, which includes a robust amount of content, including first-run movies, full seasons of TV shows, and 100+ channels of DirectTV. Also, gone are JetBlue’s armrest remotes in favor of touchscreen experience.
In addition, seatback games and 3D moving maps are available on every screen to track your flight. And, last but not least, passengers will be able to pair personal devices with seat-back screens to use as a remote.
The A321neo will feature expanded Fly-Fi Wi-Fi service, equipped with Viasat-2, offering expanded coverage on more than 99% of JetBlue’s route network, including overwater and international cities
Today, JetBlue has 85 A321neo aircraft on order including 13 A321LR (Long Range) aircraft for service to London from New York and Boston beginning in 2021, as well as 13 A321XLR (Xtra Long Range) aircraft which the airline intends to use to serve a variety of European cities.