The Airbus A220: 5 Things You Must Know

The Airbus A220 will soon mark five years of service since its first revenue-earning flight with SWISS in July 2016. During this period, it has become popular among both airlines and their passengers for its operational efficiency and onboard comfort. Let’s take a look at five of the most important and interesting facts regarding the type.

Delta Airbus A220
Delta is presently the largest A220 operator, with 49 examples. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

1) It began life as the Bombardier CSeries

The A220 family is actually the brainchild of Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. The company designed and launched it under the name ‘CSeries.’ Indeed, it flew commercially as the CSeries for two years, before Airbus joined the program in July 2018.

This saw the European manufacturer acquire a majority stake (50.01%) in the program as part of a joint venture. Today, it holds 75%, following Bombardier’s exit in 2020. The local government has the other 25% through its Investissement Québec holding company.

2) It is produced in North America

Airbus is known for being a multi-national European company. Indeed, some of its most important facilities are located in the likes of Hamburg, Germany and Toulouse, France. However, owing to the A220’s Canadian roots at Bombardier, Airbus instead produces the type across two sites in North America.

Air Canada Airbus A220
The A220 has strong links to Canada. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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Production of the A220 initially took place (and continues to do so) at a factory in Mirabel. This is situated just outside Montréal, Canada. In August 2019, Airbus also opened an A220 assembly line in the neighboring US. This is situated in Mobile, Alabama.

3) There are two variants

Bombardier designed two variants for its CSeries, to which Airbus has remained loyal after taking over the program. These, and some of their key facts, are as follows.

  • A220-100 – 35 meters long, 100-120 passengers, 6,390 km (3,450 NM) range, 90 orders (of which Airbus has delivered 50).
  • A220-300 – 38.7 meters long, 120-150 passengers, 6,667 km (3,600 NM) range, 559 orders (of which Airbus has delivered 109).

4) Some airlines only operate the A220

The Airbus A220 is a widely-loved aircraft, and an integral part of airline fleets worldwide. However, for some carriers, it plays a greater role by being their only aircraft type. One such airline is Air Manas, based in Kyrgyzstan. The carrier received its first A220 last month. The single A220 in question is currently the only plane of any kind in its one-aircraft fleet.

The Airbus A220: 5 Things You Must Know
Air Manas’s A220 is currently its only aircraft. Photo: Air Manas

Meanwhile, Air Sinai’s fleet also consists solely of a pair of A220s. These are unmarked, and fly between Tel Aviv and Cairo on behalf of EgyptAir. However, it is not just airlines with one or two planes where the A220 dominates. Indeed, all 26 of Latvian flag carrier airBaltic’s aircraft are examples of the stretched-fuselage A220-300 variant.

5) Passengers revere its onboard comfort

As well as pleasing airline executives with its operational efficiency, many passengers also hold the A220 in high regard due to its increased comfort levels. One reason for this is its 2-3 seating configuration, which allows each individual seat to be slightly wider.

Indeed, SeatGuru reports that Air Canada‘s economy class seats on its A220s are an impressive 19 inches wide. Meanwhile, the figure onboard its six-abreast A320 family planes is 17.8 inches. While on the subject of the A220’s fuselage, how about a quick bonus fact to finish off – it is around the same width as Rolls-Royce’s colossal ‘UltraFan’ engine!

What do you make of the Airbus A220 family? Have you ever flown on the type? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!