MIAMI – US airline JetBlue Airways (B6) has completed the maiden flight of its first Airbus A220, which rolled out of the paint shop in Mobile, Alabama.

The aircraft, which departed from Airbus plant in Mobile completed the flight in advance of its late December delivery as B6 embarks on a much-needed fleet renewal for its short-haul fleet. 

The A220 has been considered as a ‘flying hero’ of 2020, with almost 94% of the world’s units flying. Its smaller size, combined with its fuel efficiency, has made the type the perfect model to lead the aviation recovery as passenger traffic still remains low.

Photo: The A220-300. JetBlue Airways

Replacement for the E190

Christened “Hops,” the aircraft “departed from Mobile in Alabama at 11:39,” the portal stated, going southwest into the coast at 15,000ft before heading into the Gulf of Mexico.

“Over the Gulf of Mexico, the aircraft flew several turns, gradually climbing to 41,000 feet in three steps. According to data from, the aircraft reached a maximum speed of 528 knots. The aircraft then returned to Mobile, completing a go-around before landing at 17:20. All in all, the flight took five hours and 41 minutes,” said portal Simple Flying.

“Hops” is the first of 70 aircraft ordered by the airline, as a replacement aircraft for its fleet of Embraer E190s and E195s. The A220-300 will have 140 seats in the A220’s standard 2-3 configuration, with extra legroom in economy, plus Wi-Fi and live TV services offered on most flights.

JetBlue Airways will launch new routes with the arrival of the A220, since the airline considers it would have been unprofitable with its current fleet of E190s and A320s. The decision is a no brainer due to the A220s favorable economics, with several airlines in the US already looking forward to having the aircraft in their fleets.

Delta Air Lines (DL) is already operating both the -100 and -300, and start-up Breeze has an order for 60 A220-300s.

Featured image: Photo: The A220-300. JetBlue Airways