Another major order for the aircraft that was once known as the Bombardier CSeries CS300, demonstrates the power of the Airbus name behind the product.
As a Bombardier plane, the CSeries CS300 had attracted a small handful of customers, with relatively small numbers of air frames ordered. It was, some feared, an expensive failure for the Canadian firm, so bad were the expectations for the CS programme that it almost sent the Canadian firm into bankruptcy.
Yet, with the power and security of Airbus behind the passenger friendly aircraft, large orders are flooding in. New US low-cost start up carrier with a mysterious code-name of ‘Moxy’ has firmed up an order of 60 aircraft. While, major Airbus customer, JetBlue (JBLU) has confirmed an order for 60 of the type to form a major part of its future fleet development plans.
“As we approach our 20th anniversary, the impressive range and economics of the highly efficient A220, combined with the outstanding performance of our existing fleet of Airbus A321 and restyled A320 aircraft, will help ensure we deliver the best on board experience to customers and meet our long-term financial targets as we continue disciplined growth into the future,” said Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue (JBLU) .
JetBlue (JBLU) ’s existing Airbus fleet includes 193 A320 and A321ceo aircraft in operation, with an additional 85 A321neo aircraft on order. “JetBlue (JBLU) has proven there is no contradiction between economic efficiency and a high quality product,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “Their endorsement of the A220 proves this aircraft meets those two criteria better than any alternative in its segment. Thank you JetBlue (JBLU) and congratulations on this big milestone in your growth.”
The order was completed the last week of December and followed months of discussion and negotiation between the two parties. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market and delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency. Passengers continuously rate the aircraft cabin highly as it seems to offer the space and comfort of a widebody type of aircraft, yet in the single-aisle aircraft. The large windows are also popular with passengers which offer a bright and specious environment. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. The range is also a key selling point of the A220 aircraft, it can reach destinations some 3,200 miles (5,020 km) away and offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft.
With an order book of over 500 aircraft to date, the A220 looks set to take the major share of the 100-150 seat regional aircraft market, which according to recent research is estimated to exceed 7000 frames during the next 20 years alone.
Airbus has also confirmed it will produce the A220-300 aircraft for both ‘Moxy’ and JetBlue (JBLU) at a new US assembly facility located next door to its A320 plant in Mobile, Alabama. The construction of the new plant is scheduled to begin towards the end of this month and marks a major step forward in the confidence the European plane-maker has in the A220 programme.