Airbus has a reason to celebrate today as it announces the production of its 100th A220 aircraft. In a celebratory ceremony at the A220 headquarters in Mirabel, Canada, the manufacturer announced that the A220-300 produced for Lativa-based airBaltic was the 100th aircraft from the A220 line.
At a celebration held at Airbus’ A220 headquarters in Canada, representatives from both Airbus and airBaltic celebrated the delivery of the 100th A220-300. And the significance of the date? It is exactly three years after the world’s first A220-300 left Airbus to join airBaltic on the 29 November 2016. Such perfect timing.
The celebratory aircraft features a new cabin design with 149 seats and modernized livery. It will join airBaltic’s current fleet of 20 A220-300 aircraft. The airline was the launch operator for the A220-300 three years ago and is Airbus’ biggest European customer for the aircraft and, therefore, a fitting recipient of the 100th aircraft.
Airbus A220 family
The A220 is assembled at Airbus’ main Final Assembly Line in Mirabel and, more recently, at a second assembly line in Alabama. Formally known as the Bombardier C series, the A220 was launched in 2016 and is designed for the 100-150 seat market. Known for fuel-efficiency, it uses 20% less fuel than other aircraft and has reduced noise pollution and emissions.
There will soon be 100 A220s in operation with six operators across four continents. Airbus has confirmed that it has received 530 firm orders for over 20 customers for various aircraft from the A220 family. In a statement, Airbus commented that the “the aircraft’s unequalled fuel efficiency and excellent performance has been instrumental to airBaltic which has an all-A220 fleet as the backbone of its new business plan.”
airBaltic operates a fleet of A220’s to various destinations in Europe, Russia and the Middle East and boasts the longest flight on an A220 aircraft; 6.5 hours from Riga, the airline’s base, to Abu Dhabi. The airline has carried over 4 million passengers on Airbus A220–300 aircraft with every other passenger traveling on the Airbus model.
This aircraft is the first delivery of an order which was signed on 28 May 2018 for 30 aircraft with options for an additional 30. airBaltic aims to have 22 A220-300 in its fleet by the end of the year and will raise this number to 26 by the end of 2020.
In a statement, Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic commented,
“We are truly proud to be the launch operator of the Airbus A220-300 aircraft which, being an integral part of airBaltic’s fleet over the last three years has demonstrated an outstanding performance.”
The new aircraft, registration YL-AAU, is the 21st Airbus A220-300 for the airline and features the new livery. All new aircraft for airBaltic will feature greener tails to show the airline’s commitment to “operating one of the greenest fleets and launching other sustainability initiatives in the near future.”
What do you think about airBaltic’s fleet of A220-300 aircraft? Wil the aircraft help them meet their goal of becoming one of the greenest fleets in the world? Let us know what you think in the comments below.