The Airbus A220-300 vs A319neo – What Plane Is Better?

When Bombardier was blockaded from selling their latest aircraft (dubbed the CS100 at the time) in the USA, they turned to Airbus for help. In exchange for 51% of their CSeries line up, Airbus offered to finish the product inside the US border and rename it the A220, thereby allowing it to be sold to the likes of Delta and JetBlue.

A220
Airbus A319neo (above) vs A220-300 (below). Photo: Wikimedia

However, in doing so Airbus created a problem. Their own series of A318 and A319 aircraft were now at risk of being cannibalized by the ‘more modern’ designs, and thus have had to walk a thin tightrope with their airline customers. But which of these aircraft is actually better when compared to the A220?

We have already covered the A318 and the A220-100, so today we will look at the A319neo and A220-300.

A220-300 vs A319neo

Let’s start by facing up these two aircraft side by side.

Airbus A220-300 Airbus A319neo
Length 38.70 m / 127 ft 33.84 m / 111 ft
Wingspan 35.10 m/115 ft 2 in 35.80 m / 117 ft 5 in
Wing area 112.30 m2 / 1,209 ft2 123.00 m2 / 1,324 ft2
Height 11.50 m / 37 ft 9 in 11.76 m / 38 ft 7 in
Engines 2 2
Thrust per engine 104 kN / 23,300 lbf 108 kN / 24,200 lbf
Total thrust 208 kN / 46,600 lbf 216 kN / 48,400 lbf
MTOW 67,585 kgs / 149,000 lbs 75,500 kgs / 166,000 lbs
Range 6,112 km / 3,300 nm 6,950 km / 3,753 nm
Cruise speed M0.78 M0.82
Capacity 130 passengers 140 passengers
Max. capacity 160 passengers 160 passengers
A220
The A220-300 has a similar seating capacity to to the A319neo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Passengers

Looking at the capacity of each aircraft, it becomes clear that the A319neo can actually carry more passengers than the A220-300. But looking at the length of the two aircraft, it looks as if this would be rather crammed. The A319 is able to accomplish this by having a 3-3 configuration, whilst the A220-300 only has the cabin in a 2-3 configuration.

A220-300 Cabin Width – 3.70m
A319neo Cabin Width – 3.28m

Despite being a distance of only 50cm, it is enough to fit in an additional seat per rows. However, the A220-300 has more pitch per seat than the A319 variant.

Winner: A319neo (although many would argue that the A220-300 is far more comfortable).

A319neo PWG
The PWG-powered variant of the A319neo taking off from Toulouse Photo: Airbus

Range

Surprisingly, the longer A220-300 actually has a smaller range than A319neo. This difference is nearly a 1000km and means that these two aircraft can’t exactly fly on the same routes

However…

Airbus recently upgraded the range on the A220 aircraft, increasing the A220-300 range to 3,350nm. This still puts it below the A319neo but might be enough to coax airlines to choose the Canadian aircraft.

Winner: A319neo

Which should airlines choose?

If we imagine that we are an airline and had to choose between the two models, which would we decide is best? Unless we had a specific reason to choose one or the other (range or because we need those 10 extra passengers) how would we choose between the two very similar aircraft?

Let us look at the cost:

A220-300 – US$ 89.5 million
A319neo – US$ 101.5 million

Right away we can see that the A220-300 is $10 million cheaper than the A319neo. This price difference isn’t huge… unless you are one of the airlines that have ordered hundreds of the A220 aircraft. 

Additionally, Bombardier actually has plenty of manufacturing capacity. There is a huge backlog of orders for the A319neo (as it is built at the same factory making the A320neo and A321neo) and airlines might be waiting years to fly their new aircraft. Bombardier, however, might be able to deliver one in mere months.

What do you think? Which aircraft is best? Let us know in the comments. 

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