On Tuesday, during an event at Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse, France, Airbus announced the renamed CSeries: the Airbus A220.
Before a newly-paint aircraft was revealed, Airbus and Bombardier held a press conference to discuss important information about the aircraft, such as 20% lower fuel burn per seat; intuitive and clean cockpit design; seats of 18 or 19 inches; space for 1 cabin bag per person; and the aircraft’s efficient aerodynamics.
Some data on the CSeries was shown too, like the difference between CS100 (now the A220-100) and CS300 (the A220-300) in terms of capacity (they can carry 116 passengers and 141 passengers respectively). CSeries planes in total have more than 75,000 flight hours, 402 orders, 38 delivery, and three airlines customers (Swiss, Air Baltic, and Korean Air).
Speaking at the event, Eric Shulz, Airbus’ Chief of Sales, Marketing, and Contracts, welcomed the A220 to the Airbus family and said, “On behalf of all of us at Airbus, we want to welcome all of our Bombardier colleagues.”
“We are enthusiastic about selling the A220 thanks in particular to its technology which gives it a decisive edge in a very competitive market. I have received a lot of positive feedback from customers regarding the aircraft’s outstanding passenger experience, its lower fuel burn, lower weight, and quieter engines. All these reasons contribute to my optimism that Airbus will support to make the A220 a great commercial success,” said Shulz
Robert Dewar, Head of Customer Support and Engineering for the Airbus/Bombardier joint venture, highlighted the three main goals for the A220 program: Ramp up production, increase sales, and cut costs.
The new joint venture gives Airbus a comparable number of planes to the Boeing-Embraer joint venture, which was announced earlier this month. Airbus and Bombardier have five planes in the class, and Boeing and Embraer have 7.
As part of the Airbus CSeries/A220 program takeover, Airbus will open a second final assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama for customers located in the United States. By opening an assembly line in Mobile, Airbus hopes to avoid potential tariffs on A220 aircraft being imported into the United States.
After the conference, the new name was officially revealed as the aircraft performed a low pass and, at 12:35 (local time), landed for the first time in Toulouse. The standard Airbus celebration of raising a flag out the cockpit escape hatch was performed.
On the stage with the two pilots that bright the new A220-300 from UK, Guillaume Faury, Airbus President Commercial Aircraft said:
“Everyone at Airbus has been looking forward to this historic moment. Today, we are thrilled to welcome the A220 to the Airbus family and are honored to see it wearing its new Airbus colors for the first time”
“I pay tribute to all the women and men at Bombardier and the supply chain who have strived over the past years to bring this fantastic aircraft to the world. The A220 now enters a new phase in its career with all Airbus’ resources behind it to further its commercial success worldwide.”
All images by the Catarina Madureira/Aeronautics