Which Airlines Operate Both Versions Of The Airbus A220?

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The Airbus A220 is lauded by both carriers and passengers alike. In a recent interview, airBaltic’s CEO Martin Gauss said it had changed his airline completely. The jet, originally conceptualized as the Bombardier CSeries, is also being touted as the perfect post-pandemic plane. But which airlines are operating both the A220-100 and the A220-300?

Airbus A220 Family
While the A220-300 is proving popular with airlines, only a few operate the smaller A220-100. Photo: Airbus

The larger sibling is winning in orders

The Airbus A220 allows airlines to operate a comfortable cabin with less capacity. Coupled with a 25% lower fuel-burn compared to previous generation aircraft in the same category, no wonder its operators are currently happy with their choice.

Designed for the 100-150 seat market, there are two variants of the A220. The smaller A220-100 has a length of 35 meters, a range of 6,390 km, and 100-120 seats in a two-class configuration. Its larger sibling, the A220-300, is 38.7 meters long, can fly 6,297 km, and seats 120-150 passengers.

The A220-300 has proven the more popular of the two with orders for 541 compared to 90 for the A220-100. However, one airline thus far operates mostly the smaller version of the two.

Airbus A220, Recovery, Perfect Aircraft
Delta is the first US carrier to operate both types. Photo: Getty Images

Delta Air Lines

Delta currently has 38 of the A220-100 in its fleet, with the latest seven arriving in October this year. It has another seven on order. In October, the airline also took delivery of its initial five A220-300. This included N302DU, the very first A220 to have been assembled in the US at Airbus’ facilities in mobile Alabama.

By the time all of the A220s on Delta’s order book will have been delivered, however, the -300 will just outnumber the -100 with 50 to 45. The -100s seat 12 passengers in first, 15 in Comfort+, and 82 in economy. The -300s are configured with an additional 15 Comfort+ and six economy seats for a total of 130.

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SWISS A220-100
SWISS has nine of the A220-100 in its fleet. Photo: Getty Images

SWISS

SWISS, part of Lufthansa Group, was the launch customer for the A220-100. The carrier took delivery of its first of the type in June 2016. It has nine in its fleet, with the final having arrived in July 2019 and completing the order book.

Meanwhile, there is still one plane outstanding from SWISS’s A220-300 order. The carrier has an order for 21 of the jets and has thus far received 20. However, the final member of its A220 fleet will have to wait a while longer as SWISS has deferred deliveries of new short-haul aircraft due to the ongoing crisis.

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SWISS’ A220-100s has a standard configuration of 20 business class seats and 105 in economy, while the A220-300’s cabin has 30 and 115, respectively.

Future operators

Air Canada could potentially operate the A220-100 along with its -300s as it has substitution rights to convert some of its -300 orders to the smaller version. However, this remains hypothetical.

The only other airline (leasing companies not included) to have orders for both the A220-100 and the A220-300 at the moment is Air Vanuatu, which has two of each on the books.

While the small South Pacific airline is yet to take delivery of any of the aircraft, its first A220-300 was spotted when rolling out of the paintshop at Montreal-Mirabel airport in August this year, and it looks beautiful.

Have you flown on either or perhaps even both versions of the A220? What was your experience? Tell us about it in the comments. 

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