The Airbus A220: World’s Most Active Fleet?

Advertisement:

While the recovery of the aviation industry is ongoing, airlines are looking toward their smaller aircraft to get people moving again. Given its size, the Airbus A220 has proven popular lately, but just how many are operational? Simple Flying looked at the data to find out.

Airbus A220, Recovery, Perfect Aircraft
The Airbus A220 is seemingly the perfect aircraft for the current climate. Photo: Getty Images

The Airbus A220, formerly known as the Bombardier C-Series, is the smallest aircraft in Airbus’ product line up. The small two-engined jet can seat up to 160 passengers. However, unlike Airbus’ other narrow-body aircraft, the A220 has a 2-3 layout. The first A220 was delivered back in 2016, and as of June, 116 of 642 orders had been delivered.

The perfect recovery aircraft?

On paper, it seems as though the Airbus A220 is the perfect aircraft to guide the recovery of the aircraft industry for two reasons. Firstly, the aircraft are young and fuel-efficient. You won’t find many Airbus A220 in service that’s older than four years, as SWISS took delivery of the first A220 in June 2016. However, secondly, the aircraft has a lower passenger capacity. According to Airbus, the two jets were designed for the 100-150 seat market.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.

Both of these characteristics are perfect for an aircraft looking to succeed in the post-pandemic recovery. The efficiency of the plane keeps fuel cost down, making it cheaper to run than older aircraft. Meanwhile, the lower capacity means that fewer passengers are required to break even on a flight. As such, there’s less stress if a plane isn’t packed.

SWISS A220
The A220 has fewer seats, while also being more efficient. Photo: Getty

While this is good news for the smallest Airbus product, the converse is valid for the largest Airbus product, the A380. Despite there being around twice the number of A380s as there are A220s, only a handful are operational. Indeed, many have been grounded or retired early due to their lower efficiency and difficulty to fill.

Advertisement:

So how many Airbus A220s are flying?

So how many Airbus A220s are flying? It turns out quite a lot. Of the 112 aircraft in operation with commercial airlines, 105 have flown a commercial service in the past week according to data from FlightRadar24.com. This means that 93.75% of the world’s A220 fleet is currently operational.

Airbus A220, Recovery, Perfect Aircraft
The vast majority of commercial A220s are operational. Graph: Simple Flying | Data: FlightRadar24.com

Seven Airbus A220s are currently non-operational, having either just been delivered, or not having flown for several months. Interestingly, these aircraft are all the slightly larger A220-300. Every single A220-100 is currently operational. The grounded aircraft consist of:

  • Four EgyptAir A220-300s
  • One Air Tanzania A220-300
  • One EgyptAir A220-300 being operated by Air Sinai
  • One airBaltic A220-300

The airlines operating the A220, in order of number operational are:

Advertisement:
  1. Delta Air Lines – 31 Airbus A220-100s
  2. SWISS – nine Airbus A220-100s and 20 Airbus A220-300s
  3. airBaltic – 21 Airbus A220-300s
  4. Korean Airlines – 10 Airbus A220-300s
  5. Air Canada – 8 Airbus A220-300s
  6. EgyptAir – 4 Airbus A220-300s
  7. Air Sinai – 1 Airbus A220-300
  8. Air Tanzania – 1 Airbus A220-300

Have you flown on an Airbus A220? How did you find the experience? Let us know what you thought and why in the comments!

Advertisement: