Airbus A220

The first Airbus A220-300 landed in Toulouse. A narrow-bodied mid-range aircraft that has just joined the wide Airbus lineup, adding and expanding it in the 100-160 seat segment. The new A220 family of aircraft includes two models: A220-100 (100-135 seats) and A220-300 (130-160 seats). It is the most advanced aircraft in its class, developed from scratch by Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, formerly known as the C-Series – CS100 and CS300. Already, 38 aircraft of this type are operated in the fleet of three airlines; a total of 402 aircraft have been ordered, i.e. the backlog is currently 364 units, moreover, the American LowBost JetBlue, which has signed an agreement of intent to purchase 60 A220-300 aircraft, is becoming the first potential customer of the new A220.

I understand that for you and me, the A220 sounds a bit unusual for the time being. Skeptics are perplexed and question the feasibility of rebranding the C-Series. And the fatalists regret the gradually weakening competition in the market, where two giants absorb competitors. Everything is not so simple, the aviation market is developing very rapidly, the rules of the game are changing and competition is heating up, and as a result, we and you win – passengers.

Let’s figure out what the A220 is and what Airbus gets, expanding its product line into the 100-160 seat segment.

Airbus or Bombardier?

Only the C-Series was rebranded. Namely, CS100 aircraft in the A220-100 and CS300 in the A220-300. In addition to the C-Series, Bombardier produces turboprops Q-Series and jet CRJ-Series, as well as business jets. Airbus acquired a controlling interest (50.01%) from C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), which was engaged in the production and sale of C-Series aircraft. From October 2017 to June 2018 all legal formalities were passed and now the time has come for rebranding and integration into the Airbus product line, opening a new A220 family. And this is not just a renaming, the A220 is fully integrated into the Airbus marketing strategy, and from a technical point of view also into the Airbus supply chain.

First orders

The C-Series has been in operation for four years! 38 aircraft were delivered to customers. In June 2016, the SWISS airline became the starting operator of the CS100, and in December 2016 the first CS300 was handed over to the Latvian carrier airBaltic. The third airline currently operating the C-Series is Korean Air.

Over the past two years, Bombardier has collected significant and very positive feedback, which is very good for a completely new aircraft, especially during the so-called “childhood diseases” of any new type. Moreover, European carriers even operate it in very different ways, for example, SWISS performs up to 10 segments per day on this type, the aircraft spends more than 18 hours in work every day! And airВaltic carries out long flights on the CS300, for example, the Riga-Abu Dhabi flight is 5.5-6 hours! SWISS has already conducted more than 65 A-checks (this is a small form of regular technical maintenance, the intervals between “A” check are 850 hours), almost each of these checks is only at night, i.e. the plane returns to work the next morning. More complex forms of service (C-check) have not yet been, as it is carried out after 8500 hours. The Mirabell factory in Quebec has a 24/7 Customer Support Center that collects real-time data from all the aircraft that are currently in operation.

An interesting point is a fact that the planes that are in operation do not plan to rename yet, but, I believe, both SWISS and airBaltic will gradually transfer to a new name, following the general marketing plan.

Production line

The main production line is in the city of Mirabelle (Quebec), 50km from Montreal at the Bombardier plant in Canada. The second final assembly line was opened in Mobile, Alabama (USA) at Airbus production facilities and will be produced there will be aircraft for the US market. The American airline JetBlue has signed an agreement of intent to supply 60 A220-300. In total, the current A220 order portfolio is 365 aircraft, 17 aircraft were produced last year, and this year it is planned to double this indicator!

Features

  • A220 aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines. Improved aerodynamics, as well as new generation engines, can significantly reduce fuel consumption, noise, and harmful emissions.
  • The total profitability is more than 20% compared with the competitor
  • Cruising speed of 829 km / h
  • Design “from scratch” and the application of innovative technologies in the design and production (composite wing, more than 40% of composites in aircraft construction, new generation aluminum-lithium alloys, 99% of unification between models (uniform pilot clearance).
  • An interesting fact is that the fuselage is not made of composite material precisely because this aircraft is potentially more likely to be on the ground, and in the process of servicing between flights, the likelihood of damage to the composite, which can be unnoticed, increases.

Interior

I think that many of you already had the opportunity to try a new type, I think this plane is the most comfortable for a passenger in its segment. The A220 has a very bright, spacious, and quiet interior.

  • In the bishop A220, an enlarged fuselage cross section (max. width 3.7 m): more comfort and individual space for passengers: the possibility of arranging 5 seats in a row (2-3) in the economy and 4 seats in a row in the business class
  • A standard economic seat 18 + / 19 inches wide (middle seat in a block of three seats), the widest in its class!
  • Roomy luggage racks (the ability to place one standard bag on wheels for one passenger).
  • Large panoramic windows (comparable in size to wide-body aircraft) in the amount of 1-2 for each passenger sitting by the window.
  • Interior lighting system based on LED technology, several thousand light scenarios
  • very convenient small ceiling monitors that display a flight map, safety instructions, information about connections, etc.
  • A220-100:
    • Typical two-class layout – 116 seats, max one-class 135 seats.
      Range 5,460 km
  • A220-300:
    • Typical two-class layout – 141 seats, max one-class 160 seats
      Range 5,930 km

Specifications

• The maximum fuselage diameter of 3.7 m
• Floor width 3.1m
• Maximum height (from the floor in the cabin to the ceiling) 2.11m
• Wingspan 35.1 m, wing surface area 112.3 m2
• The fuselage length of the A220-300 is 38.7 m, which is 3.7 m longer than that of the A220-100.
• Cruising speed of 829 km / h

Future

Airbus presents the A220-100 on the market as an aircraft, a choice for opening new directions and developing regional routes. And the A220-300 becomes the best option for the development of the route network, the lowest seat costs compared to competitors. And in the future, the airline has various and very flexible options for growth with the A320 family. For large countries, the A220 offers prospects for the development of direct routes between secondary cities, bypassing connecting hubs. Let me remind you that for MRO, component deliveries are integrated into the Airbus supply chain!

Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aviation University with a master's degree in aviation science. He began his career as an aviation researcher in local periodicals. Has a pilot license. Now are the author and developer of the Plane Worlds.