But if the 223 is the same cost to operate as the 190, what's the downside on a route that could support the 190?
Also, is the 221 significantly cheaper to operate vs the 223? If not, what's the upside to another aircraft type?
This needs to be emphasized. The A223 flies a route with 40 additional seats than the E-190. If a route was economically viable with an E-190, it is just as viable with the A223, with extra seats available on popular day (e.g., spring break, Thanksgiving).
JetBlue has a competent yield management team. They will make it work. Some destinations might see reduced frequency, which nicely opens up gates space for new routes at BOS.
If any airport cannot handle the A223, they have other issues and it is time to drop the route when the E190s are retired. However, if the airport handles A319s or 73Gs, they can handle A223.
The issue would be that at some airports now, the Embraer 190 is the largest plane the airport currently sees...with JetBlue being the only mainline carrier there with the E190 while everyone else there is a regional carrier. It is unlikely that a BCS3 would be approved to operate into MVY, ACK, or HYA. EYW is an airport where the BCS1 could also allow direct to the Northeast to be opened up (currently, the longest mainline route out of EYW is to DFW, and the largest plane EYW currently sees is the A319). Except for ACK, the runways are between 5,000 and 5,500 feet long (ACK is 6,300 feet). Northeast regional flying aside from those airfields could be on the BCS3, with a mix of BCS1/BCS3 flying. I do see A320s being retired, given how much hours B6 racks up on planes.
I wonder how much longer they have to keep around the 320s. They seem like a uneconomical middle ground right now.
They are not going anywhere anytime soon. They still seat 22 more than the A223s- B6 are not going to leave a 60 seat gap between the A223 and A321.
The problem is hours, especially for those numbered in the low 500s. They are around 80,000 hours, meaning B6 will have a decision to make in a few years on their next D check, when they could be closing in on 90,000 hours at age 24. I would be surprised if some orders weren't converted to the A20N to replace older A320s.
Let's talk limitations.
ACK has a dual wheel weight limit of 170,000 lb and a 6,300 foot runway (at MTOW, yes winds and such increase the 6,200ft runway requirement, but with 3,350nm, where is JetBlue flying from such a small airport anywhere near MTOW?) Absolutely no reason I see an issue with the A223 as the MTOW is 154,000 lb and I cannot conceive of a route that approaches MTOW for Jetblue from Nantucket. But hey, perhaps in the future, if JetBlue gets a mid-America hub, they could connect... https://www.airport-data.com/airport/ACK/
MTOW and runway from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A220
There is one and only one airport where the A221 makes a difference:
EYW has an odd dual wheel weight limit of 125,000 lb (again, the A220 has dual wheels, so that is what applies). However, you can fly A223 short distances, so if JetBlue wants more than Capeair, they'll fly the A223. I used empty weight of 81,750 lb, add 10,000 pound (fuel, crew, stuff) and 140 pax at 105kg pax is 124,163 lb. So limited to short flights, but certainly plausible on the A223. Yes, the A221 could fly further... But this is the only airport of those listed where an A221 vs. A223 has a difference in what economical missions it could fly. https://www.airport-data.com/airport/EYW/
MVY and HYA hav a dual wheel weight limit of 108,000 lb for a double wheel boggey (A223 landing gear).
Empty weight of 81,750lb, 10,000 lb of other weight, only leaves about 8,000 lb for passengers. Ok, the A223 cannot serve there. JetBlue will have to let Cape air handle. The A221 numbers with an empty weight of 77,650lb... Add 110 pax and 10000 lb for fuel, crew, and stuff is 113,117lb. Ok, you could fly an A221 with 5,000 lb removed. Using 105kg pax, remove 22 pax or maximum of 88 passengers... I'm not seeing an economic business model for the A221 at either of these airports. https://www.airport-data.com/airport/MVYhttps://www.airport-data.com/airport/HYA
MVY and HYA are not A220 compatible due to the low weight limits for any A220. I didn't know there were 125,000 lb airport. I'm used to 28,000 lb, 50,000 lb, a bunch around 100,000 lb limit (just below to just above due to different soils with a standard WW2 runway construction style) and 170,000lb on up... (with 950,000 lb also being common as that was the FAAs "million pound runway" that couldn't quite handle a million pounds... but I digress...).
When JetBlue returns the E190s, there are 3 airports that either go Capeair or are removed from the routemap. One that stays A223.
I do a lot of system modeling. I bet JetBlue did too and already knows this. From prior discussions, my opinion is that the E190 didn't generate the expected premium and just doesn't justify its cost per flight.
EIther airports can support 140 seats (probably with some re-allocation of airport slots). A huge part of my opinion is I do system modeling for work and as a hobby. If I do a simple spreadsheet model of JetBlue's slot/Gate values at BOS and JFK, there is no way I would continue to allocate them to the E190. I am of the opinion that the E190 was quickly sent up to BOS to squat on slots (just as I am of the opinion many RJ flights are squating on slots at ORD to keep out competition). The A223 opens up so many routes we aren't discussing here that when say MVY and HYA are cut from the JetBlue routemap, those new destinations will make far more profit (or less loss) for JetBlue. I'm also of the opinion JetBlue is going to re-allocate many slots to TATL to make BOS and JFK higher yield hubs. While this has little to nothing to do with the A223, it has everything to do with replacing the E190s.
Thanks to A223 range, I expect new pilot bases (vs. E190). JetBlue has stated the E190 requires "E190 fleet requires significant investments to fly to
a 25 year useful life (late 2020s to early 2030s)" (slide 4).
"Next generation aircraft are able to deliver 25% -
30% lower direct operating cost1 per seat mile vs
"Transition owned E190s out of operating fleet starting in
2020, with leased E190s to be returned as leases expire
starting in 2023; transition scheduled to be completed by
2025 "http://investor.jetblue.com/~/media/Fil ... update.pdf
Please see slide 6 on the A220 "expanded mission capability." That looks like an Airbus range chart created to sell the A220 to JetBlue, so there are guarantees behind that chart (unless JetBlue was silly).
The fact JetBlue is talking about reducing system costs by 5% (slide 8) tells me they have really looked into getting rid of the E190.
5 months without TV. The best decision of my life.