Delta Air Lines has scheduled its inaugural A220-300 flight for November 12th, with routes from Salt Lake City to Austin and Houston. All in all, the carrier is to take delivery of 50 of Airbus’ new model. So what exactly can we expect from the latest addition to Delta’s fleet?
Delta Air Lines is set to take delivery of a new plane. The carrier’s very first A220-300 rolled out of the factory in March. However, as circumstances were, to put it mildly, unfavorable, it did not join the fleet for over six months.
Delta has now scheduled its very first A220-300 flight, which makes it a very good time to look at what we can expect from the latest addition to the Atlanta-based carrier’s fleet.
Pushed back to November 12th
On November 12th (recently revised from an earlier date of November 10th, we will keep our fingers crossed this one will stand), Delta’s new A220-300 will enter service from Salt Lake City (SLC), which just opened its newest terminal last month.
To begin with, the aircraft will operate daily routes to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston (IAH).
On November 20th, the carrier will add the aircraft to its daily service from SLC to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), and on November 25th, to Sacramento International Airport (SMF).
Delta has ordered a total of 95 Airbus A220 aircraft. Forty-five of these are A220-100s, and 50 are of the larger A220-300 variety. The airline has taken delivery of 31 of the A220-100 so far, with the first of the planes arriving in October 2018 but entering service only early 2019.
Similar range, different capacity
Both of the versions of the A220 have a similar range (6,390 km or 3,450 NM for the A220-100 and 6,297 km or 3,400 NM for the A220-300). Thus, the choice of which model will fly which route mainly comes down to capacity. Delta has chosen to equip the cabin of both with 12 first class seats. However, the A220-100 has 15 Comfort+ seats, while the A220-300 has a full 30. The former has 82 economy seats, while the latter has 88.
Other than that, the two models have more or less the same cabin features – 2-3 seating configuration in economy, high-speed WiFi, and personal IFE seatback screens with satellite TV. What’s more, the lavatories have windows.
Is this the start of an all-Airbus fleet?
The precipitous decline in demand over the past year has sped up Delta’s retirement of older aircraft, despite not yet having taken delivery of their intended replacements. As the airline has announced that it will be letting go of its Boeing 777s, as well as its remaining Boeing 767-300ERs, and 91 717s, there has been some speculation whether or not Delta could be looking to transition to an all-Airbus fleet.
After all, one-type fleets are predicted to be an asset on the road to recovery for airlines following the largest crises the industry has ever faced. However, in an article last week, Simple Flying reporter and Deputy Content Manager Jay Singh explains why this is unlikely to be the case.
Are you excited about Delta’s new plane? Have you already flown on one of its A220-100s? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments.