David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways Corp., and a group of investors are seeking to finalize negotiations on a deal with Airbus SE for 60 A220 jets, said people familiar with the matter.
If the last hurdles are removed, a deal could be announced as early as this week at the Farnborough air show in the U.K., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The outcome of the talks depends on resolving several sticking points, said one of the people, without elaborating. There’s no guarantee the talks will lead to an aircraft order, which would involve Neeleman and the other investors, not JetBlue.
A deal with the influential airline entrepreneur would bolster Airbus’s efforts to quickly build an order book for the plane formerly known as the Bombardier Inc. C Series. To make the jet viable, Airbus says it needs a “double-digit’’ reduction in supply-chain costs and is in the process of negotiating with suppliers. The European planemaker took control of the program July 1 from Bombardier, which retains a minority stake.
Neeleman is exploring the possible creation of a new low-cost carrier in the U.S., trade publications Airline Weekly and Airfinance Journal reported last month.
Neeleman also helped establish Morris Air, Canada’s WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Brazil’s Azul SA, in addition to JetBlue.
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