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JetBlue Aircraft Delivery Delayed by U.S. Shutdown

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - JetBlue (JBLU - Get Report) executives were at a rooftop ceremony at their Long Island City headquarters on Monday to announce the planned introduction of Mint, a low-cost premium product that is likely to shake up the transcontinental market.

To enable the introduction of Mint as well as upgraded coach flying, JetBlue will take delivery, for the first time, of 11 Airbus A321 jets. About 30 JetBlue employees flew to Hamburg for the delivery ceremony, which was scheduled for Tuesday.

Instead, JetBlue became one of the first corporate victims of the government shutdown. The delivery has been delayed because the aircraft has to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, but FAA registration personnel have been furloughed.

JetBlue took delivery of an A320 in Toulouse France on Saturday, narrowly avoiding a shutdown-linked delay. "We don't have any visibility into when we can start taking deliveries again," spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said Wednesday.

Mint service is scheduled to begin in June 2014. The aircraft was scheduled to enter service in December, so a brief shutdown would not impact the airline's operations.

Also Wednesday, a US Airways (LCC) employee group was in Tolouse France for the delivery of a new Airbus A330-200, expected to fly to Charlotte on Saturday. Some of the employees were on the trip as a result of winning a charity auction. "We have not been told of any delays at this point," said spokeswoman Michelle Mohr.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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