33
$\begingroup$

I recently saw a JetBlue A321 with a German flag on its tail and was wondering why it would be registered in Germany if it was a US-based carrier. I was thinking maybe it had something to do with Airbus but I wasn't 100% sure.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6771365770770309120/ enter image description here

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
3
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Possibly related $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Feb 28 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ JetBlue was at one point partially owned by Lufthansa. $\endgroup$
    – gparyani
    Mar 2 at 5:20
  • $\begingroup$ D-AUAA to D-AZZZ are test and delivery registrations. The registration is now N2105J. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Apr 1 at 22:49
87
+50
$\begingroup$

I am the pilot who delivered this aircraft on Friday.

The German registration remains on the aircraft up until the time we (JetBlue) purchase the aircraft. Prior to transfer of title, we perform a series of ground tests and flight checks. This is all accomplished while Airbus still owns the aircraft. Once any discrepancies are corrected, and we accept the aircraft, we buy it, the ownership changes and the temporary (German) registration is removed. This is typically the day prior to ferrying it over to the US.

As for the Hamburg/Toulouse question- TLS does not produce A321 aircraft, so all of our JetBlue deliveries come from either Hamburg or Mobile, AL.

$\endgroup$
6
  • 40
    $\begingroup$ Now that is what we can say is an authoritative answer! Thanks for resolving this question, and welcome to Av.SE! Please come back often; we get quite a few "why does ___ work this way on an A32X" questions. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Mar 1 at 17:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is the A321's range long enough or did you have to refuel en-route? $\endgroup$ Mar 1 at 19:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @DavidBrossard that would be a good new question to ask $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Mar 1 at 23:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DavidBrossard It looks like it was direct; 8:10 long: i.imgur.com/aF0Ul9r.png $\endgroup$ Mar 2 at 9:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DavidBrossard The A321 even lists 4000nm as operational range which puts the ~3800 nm from Hamburg to New York within the possible range even for normal flights. $\endgroup$
    – Adwaenyth
    Mar 2 at 13:22
49
$\begingroup$

That is a very very new aircraft. The notes on the jetphotos.com posting (photo taken 2/21/2021, uploaded 2/27/2021) say:

the first A321neo for jetBlue with the Mint suites on board for North American flying and the new "Ribbons" tail design...delivered 26.02.2021 as N2501J

Delivered only yesterday!

The N-number must be a typo, because N2501J is registered as a Cessna 150 and that registration doesn't expire until August 2022. Happily the posting tells us the manufacturer's serial number, 10101, and the FAA's N-number lookup tool allows a search-by-serial among other options. We see that JetBlue is the proud new owner of MSN 10101 N2105J, recently arrived in New York. I don't know when the stickers removal takes place but I suspect it happened before the aircraft left Germany.

enter image description here
Zoom in and contrast/brightness adjusted to reveal N2105J underneath the sticker

The general idea is that the German registration is only temporary until the aircraft is re-registered under its new owner. In fact looking at all jetphotos.com entries for D-AZAJ we can see that specific registration seems to be a relatively common one for fresh-off-the-line A321s: June 2009 in US Airways livery, February 2013 Turkish Airlines, August 2013 Air China, April 2019 Air Transat, December 2019 Starlux, February 2021 JetBlue—all different serial numbers.

$\endgroup$
10
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ Also note the photo location: Hamburg Finkenwerder - EDHI Germany. That is inside the Airbus Hamburg factory. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Feb 28 at 7:37
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ … I would add that Airbus paints the aircraft at Hamburg, so the aircraft received the final paint job there, but actually hands them to customers elsewhere, usually in Toulouse. Since after that the aircraft never returns to Finkenwerder, it was clearly photographed before delivery. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Feb 28 at 12:08
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @JanHudec, that's interesting because the FlightAware track shows a direct flight (under the N-number) from XFW/EDHI to JFK. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Feb 28 at 12:37
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Hm, I don't know. It used to be Toulouse, but maybe they reduced travel due to coronavirus and are now handing over in Hamburg, possibly with electronic signing of documents so the higher management does not need to be present. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Feb 28 at 13:06
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Tim, I don't think it would make any difference to the taxes according to the European law. EU does not have a sales tax, and the value added tax depends on whom you sold something and what it was but not where. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Mar 1 at 5:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.