The new US low-cost carrier led by JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman, now known as “Moxy,” signed a firm order with Airbus for 60 A220-300 airliners, the manufacturer announced Jan. 3.

The order, valued at $5.4 billion at list prices, confirms a MOU the parties entered into during the Farnborough International Air Show in July. Deliveries are expected to start in 2021.

Airbus will build the 130- to 160-seat A220-300s at a new assembly facility adjacent to its current A320 assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama, where it expects to begin construction later this month.

In addition to founding JetBlue in 1999, Neeleman helped found Canadian carrier WestJet, started Azul Brazilian Airlines, and is the controlling investor of TAP Air Portugal.

With Moxy, he plans to serve city pairs in underserved and short-haul markets with the A220-300, formerly the Bombardier CSeries CS300.

“The A220-300 is the right airplane for a new airline that will be focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” Neeleman said. “The A220’s ability to operate profitably in thin, underserved markets across a broad spectrum of ranges is unique.”

Airbus reports an order book for 500 A220s to date.

Bill Carey, bill.carey@aviationweek.com