Airbus Announces Huge Upgrades To Their A220 Family

Airbus has announced some huge updates to their A220 family of aircraft. The changes were announced at a press event in Toulouse earlier today. The increased range will make the popular Airbus A220 aircraft even more capable.

Airbus A220 Family Range Increase
Airbus has announced improved capabilities of the Airbus A220 family of aircraft. Photo: Airbus

The Airbus A220 has proven to be a popular aircraft. Indeed, airlines such as Air Baltic are looking to completely replace their fleet with the type. Meanwhile, Delta, Jet Blue, and startup Moxy have between them ordered 210 Airbus A220s. The new Airbus A220 changes see the aircraft provided with increased range and payload.

Increased payload

The Airbus A220 will have a brand new payload allowance. The maximum takeoff weight of each aircraft previously stood at 60.78t for the Airbus A220-100. The Airbus A220-300 has a stated maximum takeoff weight of 67.58t.

In total, the maximum takeoff weight of both the Airbus A220-100 and A220-300 have increased by 2.3 metric tonnes, or more precisely 2,268 kg. This sees the A220-100 having a new maximum takeoff weight of 63.1t. However, this rises to 69.9 tonnes for the slightly larger Airbus A220-300.

Featured Video:

Markus Eigenheer
The news will likely be welcomed by Air Baltic. Photo: Markus Eigenheer via Flickr

Increased range

The great thing about this increased maximum takeoff weight is the additional range that it gives the aircraft. This is mostly to do with the amount of fuel that the aircraft can carry. A fully loaded A220 with full fuel tanks would be over the maximum takeoff weight. However, with increased payloads, the aircraft can take off with more fuel. This, in turn, means that the aircraft can fly further.

In fact, the increase in fuel allowance means that the aircraft can fly around an extra 450 nautical miles. To visualise 450nm, that distance would see an aircraft able to fly from London to a range of destinations including Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Lyon, Paris, Edinburgh, and Dublin, although not quite as far as Toulouse.

Airbus A220 Family Range Increase
The aircrafts increased range will make new routes possible. Photo: Airbus

With the increased range of the A220, the aircraft would be able to reach some new destinations. This would include Dublin from Boston, Jakarta from Seoul, and Toulouse from Dubai. The smaller A220-100 aircraft has a new range of 3,400nm, while the larger A220-300 achieves 50nm less at 3,350nm.

When will this be available?

Airbus has stated that the increased range will be available in the second half of 2020. This means carriers will need to wait at least a year in order to benefit from the increased ranges. While unconfirmed, it appears as though this will be offered on all A220s and not only new models. The reason being that Airbus states:

“This performance increase is achieved by taking credit of existing structural and systems margins as well as existing fuel volume capacity”

What do you make of the improved Airbus A220 family? Let us know in the comments!

5 comments
  1. Airbus has just offered airlines a 737 Max 8&9 replacement (albeit with 150 miles less range) that can be had in less time then the A320 backlogged model. Bombardier is making 4 a month, with a max capacity of 10 a month possible.
    Look soon for a A220-500 to be announced, but not too soon, so they don’t eat into the A320 order book.

  2. Interesting change of market.
    Aircraft will be smaller and they will fly direct routes.
    Mega hubs will be obsolete.

  3. Its really a MAX-7 replacement, but its a very good one. It an come closer to the slightly less capable A320.

    Its a great move, its a beautiful aircraft and its been executed very well. Its a perfect compliment to A320 or 737-8 (the -7 is toast) – open new routes and then fill in with 737-8/9/10- or the A320/321.

    And its mainline pilots at regional aircraft operating rates.

    BBD did a phenomenal job with it. While they could not carry it across the goal line, Airbus can and extend it to the -500 which will be right in the MAX8 arena (and can compete with the A320)

    I got to see one in person, it really is a beautiful aircraft that the 737 is not and better looking than the A320.

  4. Conditions are ripe for a A220-500 stretch. If Airbus can up production at Mirabel and Mobile they can potentially turn 737 MAX customers to their doorstep and help deter attention from the COMAC C919 in the long term which a stretched A220 would near-exactly match in performance. It may erode demand for the A320neo a little but this could allow Airbus to design a larger aircraft as a A320 series replacement (Possibly with an overlap into the ever-so-mentioned middle of the market). With these performance improvements it’s obvious the Airbus engineers have dived in to see what more can be done with the design, so no surprise if an A220-500 isn’t announced soon.

  5. The A320 family is design from the 1980s. It’s time that Airbus honorably retire it after filling existing orders and at the same time start work on Airbus’ MOM NMA…..that being a narrow-body in three fuselage lengths — 130ft, 149ft, and 168ft — have respective passenger exit limits (29-inch pitch) of 192, 234, and 276, with a cabin width approximately 160 inches wide to accommodate 18-inch seats, 2-inch armrests for each seat, and a 28-inch aisle. The A321XLR is a fine start as an answer to the MOM question, but it still is an old design, and Boeing has capably shown us what could happen when you continue tweaking a very old design that is the B737. Airbus’ NMA should pick up from the biggest variant of the A220 family in terms of passenger capacity, while having a shorter wings and lighter MTOW for missions up to 4000nm, and a longer wingspan, higher MTOW, for up to 6,000nm mission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like