Airbus Sends The A220 To The Pacific To Drum Up Interest

Airbus has announced a Pacific tour of the A220, using an A220-300 leased from airBaltic. The A220 Pacific tour itinerary includes nine locations across seven countries with an aim of encouraging more big passenger airlines to add the A220 to their fleets.

airBaltic Asia tour
airBaltic’s A220 is taking an Asia tour. Photo: airBaltic

What is the specification of the Airbus 220?

Originally the Bombardier C-Series, Airbus renamed the aircraft the A220 last year. The A220 range includes the A220-100, with a 6,297km range and a passenger capacity of 100-120. Its big sister is the A220-300, with a larger passenger capacity of 120-150 and a flight range of 6,204km.

Internal image of the Airbus A220 showing larger windows and LED lighting
Feature such as larger windows and led ambient lighting offer a heightened traveller experience. Image: Airbus

What makes the Airbus A220 specification different is the fresh new design and enhanced traveler experience it offers, incorporating dynamic new ergonomic design alongside the latest technological advances.

With state of the art engines delivering impressive efficiencies of 20% less fuel burn per seat, alongside an extended flight range. This is a new offering in the aeronautical world which is intended to shake things up.

What is it that travelers love about the Airbus A220?

Airbus describes the A220 range as being ‘high efficiency, low risk’. Alongside the critical practicalities of fuel efficiency and distance capacity, there are several features incorporated to ensure the A220 continues to gain ground in consumer choice.

A220
The A220 is designed for optimum passenger comfort, including spacious and wheelchair accessible facilities throughout. Image: Airbus

These design attributes are intended to make each customer feel as if they are in a much larger, more spacious aircraft, whilst providing a cost-efficient service for short and medium-haul legs. Examples include the larger overhead storage compartments, extra-large windows, higher positioned windows for an optimal view, and LED ambient lighting.

Wider 18-inch seats promise a more relaxed flight experience. With state of the art engines minimizing noise feedback, the A220 promises to deliver exceptional comfort without the traditional compromises of a smaller aircraft.

Which destinations will the tour include?

The A220 Pacific tour itinerary begins in Vanuata, home to Air Vanuatu who boasts four A220’s within its fleet. The tour then moves on to Sydney and Brisbane in Australia, before visiting Auckland in New Zealand. Each location will enjoy dynamic displays aimed at showcasing the impressive Airbus A220 specification, as well as flights for execs from all the prominent airlines.

airBaltic A220 asia tour
The airBaltic A220 has arrived in Asia. Photo: airBaltic

Following on from New Zealand, the tour then touches down in Noumea, New Caledonia, and Port Moresby in New Guinea. It then heads back to airBaltic in Latvia via Phnom Penh in Cambodia and Bangalore and New Delhi in India.

This Airbus A220 launch demonstration follows on from a similar demo series earlier this year, which visited six stops around Asia as reported by Forbes.

What makes the Airbus A220 stand out?

How the A220 differs from the norm is the focus on a spacious and relaxed traveler experience. This feels quite the opposite of the stance taken by many of the big carriers in recent years.

With an intense focus on economies of scale, budget airlines had dominated the short-haul market with their cut-price flights. However, consumers vote with their feet, and it seems that public opinion has swung back around to making the experience as essential a factor as cost.

Perhaps it is the distinction bias so very evident across mass-market travel which makes the A220 feel so different. It has certainly been a long time since passenger comfort has been the driving force!

Airbus A220-300 in their new livery
The A220-300 used for the Asian launch tour earlier in 2019. Photo: Airbus

What does Airbus hope to achieve with this Pacific tour?

As we reported last week, the big question is whether the Airbus A220 specification will be innovative enough and corner a sufficient clientele niche to encourage carriers such as Qantas and Air New Zealand to add the A220 to their aircraft asset base.

Airlines seem to be looking toward consumer guidance to direct their acquisitions. For example, Air Austral has now joined Delta and JetBlue in adding the A220 to its fleet.

Commercially, the costs have to stack up against the benefits. Time will tell if this demonstration of the Airbus A220 will see it being rolled out across the big carriers in the coming year.

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Jack Abbott

Send one A220-300 to Dallas, Texas… And park for a whole month in Dallas Love Field Airport. Invite the pilots and public to visit it. Load it full with passengers and have it do its signature short-field rocket take off every day in the middle of the morning rush where everyone can see it outclimb a 737.