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JetBlue founder reportedly preparing to launch new low-cost airline

CNBC logo CNBC 6/18/2018 Leslie Josephs
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The founder of JetBlue is reportedly planning another low-cost U.S. carrier.

David Neeleman, who launched New York-based JetBlue nearly two decades ago, is planning to launch Moxy with $100 million in funding, including from Neeleman himself, according to industry journal Airline Weekly.

The new airline would use Bombardier CS300 aircraft for low-cost service for smaller airports, the publication said, citing a presentation. The C Series jets are more fuel efficient than some older models. Delta Air Lines expects to fly a smaller version of the C Series planes by early 2019. The Airline Weekly story said Neeleman declined to comment for the article. Neeleman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

Boeing's chief rival, Airbus, has agreed to take over Bombardier's C Series program, a deal that it expects to close next month.

Neeleman's Moxy wouldn't be the only new airline to attempt chipping away at years of consolidation that has left four carriers in control of about three-quarters of the U.S. market. Upstart OneJet is trying to grow its footprint among business travelers. And JetSuite, which offers private charters and scheduled, semi-private service through its JetSuite X arm, is expanding with backing from JetBlue and Qatar Airways.

In addition to JetBlue, Neeleman started Brazilian airline Azul and is an investor in TAP Air Portugal.

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