Airbus is taking its A220-300 regional jet on a demonstration tour in Asia to court more customers in the region having recently delivered 10 to Korean Air.
It will start the demonstration tour at Korean Air’s home base Seoul, using an Airbus flight test aircraft fitted with a typical single-class passenger cabin.
After leaving Seoul Incheon, the aircraft will fly to Yangon in Myanmar, Hanoi (Vietnam), Bangkok (Thailand), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Nagoya (Japan).
The A220 comprises two models, the A220-100 (100-135 seats) and A220-300 (130-160 seats). The aircraft were formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries CS100 and CS300.
At the end of June, Airbus had 551 orders for the aircraft, comprising 90 for the A220-100 and 461 for the A220-300.
French media reported on Monday (European time) that Air France was set to announce an order of between 50 and 70 A220s later in the week, when the airline released its latest financial results.
In this corner of the world, the air finance arm of Australian-based investment bank Macquarie has ordered 40 A220s, while Korean Air has 10 A220-300s in its fleet.
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.
After finalising the deal on July 1 2018 Airbus officially rebranded the CSeries as the A220 in an event at its Toulouse headquarters.
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 of up to 3,400nm.
The A220, powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan, 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.
In January the jet received approval from Canada’s civil aviation authority, Transport Canada to operate long-range flights, including over-water routes under 180-minute extended operations (ETOPS) rules.
This 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. The 180-minute ETOPS was an available option for both the A220-100 and A220-300.
VIDEO: Some air-to-air footage of the A220-300 from the Airbus YouTube channel.