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.

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!