An A220-100 regional jet for Delta Air Lines built in Quebec, Canada has become the 12,000th aircraft delivered by aerospace giant Airbus.
The handover of N113DQ at the Mirabel final assembly line on Monday (Canadian time) comes 45 years after Airbus delivered its first aircraft, an A300B2, to Air France in May 1974, figures from Airbus showed.
While it took almost 20 years for Airbus to reach the 1,000-aircraft milestone, getting from 11,000 to 12,000 has taken just 14 months, highlighting the expansion of Airbus’s manufacturing capacity and the growth in demand for air travel.
At April 30 2019, Airbus had delivered 11,995 aircraft, according to figures on its website. This comprised 235 A380s, 2,088 A340/A350s, 8,856 A220/A320s and 816 A300/A310s.
Of the 11,995 delivered, some 10,926 were still in operation.
In addition to production of the A220 at Mirabel, Airbus has final assembly lines in Toulouse in France, Hamburg in Germany, Tianjin in China, Mobile in the United States.
Toulouse builds A320 family, A330, A350 and A380 aircraft, while Hamburg, Tianjin and Mobile build A320s.
Airbus was also planning to add an A220 final assembly line at Mobile. Construction on the facility began in January and deliveries were expected to commence in 2020.
On May 8, Airbus foreshadowed the impending significant milestone in the history of the company by getting an A220-100 to create a flight path that resembled the figures “12K” during a test flight.
The A220 is the newest member of the Airbus family of commercial aircraft. It was formerly known as the CSeries when the program was managed by Bombardier.
However, in October 2017 Airbus struck an agreement with Bombardier to become a partner and 50.01 per cent majority shareholder in the CSeries, 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.
Powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofans, 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.
VIDEO: A closer look at the Airbus A220 from the Airbus YouTube channel.
In February 2019, Air Vanuatu became the first airline in the South Pacific to order the type when it signed for four aircraft at the Avalon Airshow.
It was expected to receive two A220s in 2020, with the remaining two aircraft to be delivered in 2021 and 2022.