JetBlue delays fleet modernization as the war between Boeing and Airbus heats up for small jets


New York - JetBlue Airways delays updating its fleet of regional jets as it monitors the heating fight between Boeing and Airbus to gain hegemony in the small plane market.

By the end of last year, the US low-cost carrier had planned to come up with a decision whether to keep or not its 60 Embraer E190s. But the agreement between Airbus and Bombardier giving the control of C Series program to European manufacturer and the discussions between Boeing and Embraer about a possible alliance deal raised too many questions,

It would be short-sighted of us to progress with something definitive in this landscape that’s evolving,” he said in an interview. “If we leave money on the table because we rushed in during this changing landscape -- I don’t want to get into a position where we regret any decision,
JetBlue Chief Financial Officer Steve Priest told Bloomberg.

JetBlue management is discussing whether to keep the 100-seat E190s or replace them with an improved version of the Embraer's E-jet family aircraft. Switching to Bombardier’s C Series, or ordering a lower-capacity A320 variant from Airbus are other options for the New York-based low-cost operator.

JetBlue Airways began to revise its investment plans for a potential fleet revamp early last year, evaluating the profit margin generated by each type of aircraft and how they meet the company's needs. The assessment should be coherent to the efforts of the company to cut as much as $300 million in expenses by 2020.