Airbus JetBlue A220-300 Airbus
JetBlue Airways ordered 60 A220-300 aircraft, the larger model of the former Bombardier C-Series narrow-body platform. Airbus will produce the aircraft at a new U.S. assembly plant in Mobile, Ala.

A220 Series Taking Off Well for Airbus

Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, and start-up Moxy have confirmed orders for 135 of the former Bombardier C-Series narrow-body jets, now rebranded by Airbus.

Delta Air Lines added 15 more aircraft to its order for Airbus A220 jets, bringing the total order for the single-aisle aircraft to 90. The initial order was placed with Bombardier Inc. in 2016; Airbus acquired a controlling stake in the Bombardier C-Series platform in mid-2018, and rebranded it as the A220.

Since then Airbus has enjoyed a very positive reception for the new product line. It delivered 20 of the aircraft from July to December, and it reported a backlog of 480 A220s in its 2018 summary of commercial aircraft activity.

In addition to the Delta order, since the start of 2019 Airbus has reported an order for 60 A220-300 aircraft from JetBlue Airways; and a comparable order for 60 A220-300 aircraft, from Moxy, the code-name for the start-up airline venture led by JetBlue founder David Neeleman.

The Airbus A220s are narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jets, and now built by the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), of which Airbus is the controlling partner (50.01%.) They are an example of the commercial aircraft “mid-market” aircraft that is much in demand for budget airlines and regional or commuter aircraft.

A220 jets are powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan engines, which promise “at least 20% lower fuel-burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft,” according to Airbus.

Airbus boasts that the A220 series will gain a dominant share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market over the next 20 years, and it is adding an assembly line for the A220 series at its Mobile, Ala., complex. Construction for that plant expansion will begin later this month.

Delta’s first A220, an A220-100, was delivered in October. The 15 additional jets in the newly modified order will be Delta’s first for the -300 model, and Delta also converted 35 of the aircraft in the earlier A220 order to the larger -300 version.

“These additional A220 aircraft will continue to strategically enable Delta to refresh our fleet, drive further advances in the customer experience and serve as an excellent investment for our customers, employees and shareowners for Delta into the next decade,” stated Delta COO Gil West. “We look forward to taking our first A220-300 in 2020 at the Airbus assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama.”

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