Air France–KLM Group committed to purchase up to 60 of Airbus SE’s A220-300 medium-range aircraft, a deal that could be worth up to $5.5 billion, according to the most recent list price for the twin-engine jets. In addition to those 60 aircraft, which will be operated by Air France, the carrier gained 30 options and 30 purchase rights for additional jets, according to published reports.
“This aircraft demonstrates optimal operational and economic efficiency and enables us to further improve our environment footprint thanks to the A220’s low-fuel consumption and reduced emissions,” stated Benjamin Smith, the carrier’s CEO.
The A220 is a narrow-body aircraft developed by Bombardier Inc. as the C-Series for 100- to 150-passenger routes. Since 2018 it has been manufactured by the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), of which Airbus is the controlling partner (50.01%.) It is an example of the commercial aircraft “mid-market” aircraft that is much in demand for budget airlines and regional or commuter aircraft.
Both models of the aircraft (A220-100, A220-300) are A220 jets are powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan engines, which along with the aircraft aerodynamics and advanced lightweight materials offer “at least 20% lower fuel-burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft,” according to Airbus.
Not including the Air France-KLM commitment, Airbus reports it holds orders for 551 A220 aicraft.
Air France-KLM’s Smith added that the A220 is "perfectly adapted to our domestic and European network and will enable Air France to operate more efficiently on its short and medium-haul routes.”