The first Airbus A220 due to be delivered to JetBlue has completed its maiden flight from Mobile, Alabama. The aircraft, named Hops, is expected to be delivered to the US hybrid carrier by the end of the year.
The Airbus A220 has been the hidden hero of 2020. Indeed, when Simple Flying ran the numbers in August, 93.8% of the world’s Airbus A220 aircraft were operational. The majority of A220s not flying belonged to EgyptAir. The A220’s smaller size, tied with its increased fuel efficiency, has made it the perfect aircraft to lead the aviation recovery as passenger numbers remain low.
First JetBlue A220 flight
As Hops is the first Airbus A220 that will be delivered to JetBlue, its first flight yesterday also happens to be the first flight of a JetBlue A220. The aircraft, a -300, departed from Mobile in Alabama at 11:39. With the flight number AIB99, the aircraft departed to the southwest, initially hugging the coast at 15,000 feet before heading down 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 FlightRadar24.com, 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.