Airbus initiated production of the A220 twin-engine aircraft at a new assembly line in Mobile, Ala., a project it undertook following its investment in the Bombardier C-Series program in 2017. The C-Series is now branded as the A220, and built by the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP — of which Airbus is the controlling partner, 50.01%) at the Bombardier site in Mirabel, Quebec, as well as the Mobile location.
The first U.S.-made A220 will be an A220-300 for Delta Air Lines, scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2020.
Airbus opened the Mobile site in 2015 with a single assembly line for its A320 narrow-body aircraft series.
“The expansion of our commercial aircraft production in Mobile to a second product line – with 400 additional jobs to support it – further solidifies Airbus’ standing as a truly global aircraft manufacturer, and confirms without a doubt that Airbus is an important part of America’s manufacturing landscape,” stated Airbus Americas Chairman & CEO C. Jeffrey Knittel.
The A220 is a narrow-body, medium-range jet for the commercial "mid-market," served especially by budget airlines and regional or commuter aircraft, with a range of 1,800 to 3,200 nautical miles (3,300-5,500 km / 2,100-3,800 miles.
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.
Since the C-Series/A220 made its commercial debut in 2016, Bombardier and Airbus have delivered 78 aircraft and the CSALP has net orders for 600 more from carriers including Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and the start-up known as Moxy.
Airbus noted it is producing the first A220 aircraft within some current A320 series buildings and newly-built support hangars. By the 2020s, Mobile will be assembling 40 to 50 A220 aircraft per year.