Airbus says its A220 regional jet has received approval from regulators in Canada to operate long-range flights, including over-water routes.
Canada’s civil aviation authority Transport Canada has given the green light for the A220 family of aircraft to operate under 180-minute extended operations (ETOPS) rules, Airbus said on Monday (European time).
The 180-minute ETOPS – which means the aircraft can be flown on a route that keeps it within three hours flying time on a single engine from an alternate airport in the event of an engine failure – would be an available option for both the A220-100 and A220-300.
Airbus said it would allow operators of the type to fly “new direct non-limiting routings over water, remote or underserved regions”.
“This A220 ETOPS milestone adds to the numerous performance capabilities which the unbeatable A220 family already offers,” the head of Airbus’ A220 program Florent Massou said in a statement.
The A220 program head of engineering and customer support Rob Dewar added: “Being the only in-production aircraft in its class capable of performing both steep approach and long-range operations, the A220 is definitely unlocking new route opportunities for airlines,”
A220 was the former CSeries
In October 2017, Airbus struck an agreement with Bombardier to become a partner and 50.01 per cent majority shareholder in the CSeries program, with Bombardier and the Quebec government’s investment arm, Investissement Québec, owning approximately 34 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.
The deal was finalised on July 1 2018 and later in the month Airbus officially rebranded the CSeries as the A220 at an event held at its Toulouse headquarters featuring invited guests, executives from both companies and media.
The A220 family comprises two models, the A220-100 (100-135 seats) and A220-300 (130-160 seats), formerly Bombardier’s CS100 and CS300.
The A220-100 has a range of 2,950nm when configured with 116 passengers, while Airbus lists the A220-300’s range on its website as 3,200nm with 141 passengers.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan, the CSeries competes for the lower end of the narrowbody market alongside the Embraer E2 and Mitsubishi Regional Jet, and to a lesser degree designs from Sukhoi and COMAC.
VIDEO: A closer look at the Airbus A220 from the Airbus YouTube channel.
The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership’s (CSALP) head office, primary assembly line and related functions are based in Mirabel, Québec.
A second assembly line was also being established in the United States at Mobile, Alabama.
There have been 537 orders for the A220 family of aircraft at December 31 2018 comprising 88 A220-100s and 449 A220-300s, according to the Airbus website. So far 12 A220-100s and 45 A220-300s have been delivered.
Its biggest customers are Delta Air Lines (90 aircraft), JetBlue (60 aircraft), airBaltic (50 aircraft) and Air Canada (45 aircraft). The only airline customer in Asia is Korean Air, which has nine A220-300s in its fleet and one more on order.
And in early January, a United States startup airline Moxy put pen to paper for 60 A220 family aircraft.
[vc_gallery interval=”0″ images=”62933,62929,62930,62931,62925,62932,62934,62935″ img_size=”750×420″ title=”Scenes from the 2018 Airbus A220 arrival ceremony in Toulouse (Photos: Airbus)”]