JetBlue's founder is reportedly raising money to launch a new airline

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David Neeleman, founder and chief executive officer of Azul SA, left, stands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during his company's initial public offering (IPO) in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
David Neeleman, founder and chief executive officer of Azul SA, left, stands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during his company's initial public offering (IPO) in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

David Neeleman, who started JetBlue Airways Corp. with $100 million in 2000, is raising money to launch a new low-cost carrier focused on secondary airports in the U.S., according to Airline Weekly.

The airline, to be called Moxy Airways, has secured orders for 60 Bombardier CS300 aircraft, the trade journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The first would arrive in 2020. Moxy is attempting to raise $100 million to begin services that same year, the journal reported.

Neeleman declined to comment, Airline Weekly said. He didn't immediately return an email from Bloomberg News seeking comment early Monday. It's unclear how far along the airline is in its development. Neeleman, 58, also helped to establish Morris Air, WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Brazil's Azul SA.

Moxy is designed to maximize the economic advantages of the C Series, along with the use of smaller, secondary airports such as Providence, Rhode Island, Fort Worth, Texas, and Burbank, California, Airline Weekly said. The advanced jetliner reduces fuel burn due to its modern engines and carbon-fiber fuselage.

Neeleman is a long-time supporter of aircraft manufactured by Airbus SE, which has taken a controlling stake in the C Series in partnership with Bombardier. The companies plan to close the deal July 1.

Moxy has told investors it will sell only point-to-point flights to keep down costs, according to a presentation cited by the publication. But the airline isn't seeking to mimic ultra low-cost carriers like Allegiant or Spirit. Instead, Moxy would be more in line with Neeleman's past ventures at Azul and JetBlue, where spacious seats and free Wi-Fi combine with some fees for extra services, such as snacks or seat assignments, Airline Weekly reported.

With 60 CS300 orders, Moxy would become the second-largest C Series customer after Delta Air Lines Inc., which is acquiring 75 of the smaller CS100 model. Delta plans to begin service with the plane next year.

—Justin Bachman, Bloomberg News

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