world of aviation logo

JetBlue delays Embraer 190 retirement

written by Isabella Richards | July 28, 2021

A file image of a Jetblue Airbus A321 taking off. (Airbus)
A file image of a Jetblue Airbus A321 taking off. (Airbus)

Low-cost carrier JetBlue has announced it will delay retiring its 30 Embraer 190s a few years later than expected.

As its joint venture with American Airlines, ‘Northeast Alliance’, gathers momentum, the carrier will re-evaluate a more appropriate time to retire them.

The company held its quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, which is where chief financial officer Ursula Hurley announced the jets will phase out from 2023 to 2026.

JetBlue operates 60 of the aircraft and 30 of them are leased, which will be the jets to retire. Originally, they were set to retire from 2020 to 2025.

As the aircraft slowly phase out, JetBlue will acquire additional Airbus A220s due to fuel and cost-efficiency.

During the call, Hurley said the carrier is “making investments in that fleet type to ensure that we can grow margins and capitalise on the [joint venture] opportunity”.

In July 2020, JetBlue and American Airlines joined a partnership reviewed by the US Department of Transportation, which launched various codeshares of routes.


“We will evaluate over time the optimal time from a cost perspective, as well as capitalizing on the NEA opportunity to determine the most optimal time to retire those aircraft,” Hurley said.

The replacement, which would be too large for regional flights alone, will enable to the airline to expand its markets into other hubs.

The Embraer was a key part of the carrier’s regional routes, often flying to cities such as Detroit, Key West, Minneapolis, Buffalo, Charleston and Raleigh.

The new alliance, however, is focusing on 33 north-eastern routes and bigger city hubs, from either New York City or Boston, as part of its first phase.

Both airlines also launched codeshare flights. American launched 49 routes on JetBlue routes, and JetBlue added 25 American Airlines routes.

JetBlue’s fleet comprises almost all Airbus aircraft, with the exception of the Embraer until its retirement.

The New York-based carrier operates the planemaker’s A321, A321neo, A220, and A320 aircraft types.

The announcement was made as Hurley also shared the company’s second quarter results, returning to profit in the post-pandemic recovery.

JetBlue announced a net income of US$64 million and US$1.5 billon in revenue over three-months, better than analysts expected.


Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year