Luxair eyes Airbus A220-500, the most wanted non-existent aircraft

Steve Lynes / Wikipedia

Luxembourg’s flag carrier Luxair had expressed an interest in the Airbus A220-500, the much-anticipated addition to the A220 family. 

“If Airbus were to bring out the A220-500, that of course would be brilliant for us,” Luxair CEO Gilles Feith said in an interview with Swiss aviation magazine Aerotelegraph. 

According to Feith, that would be the only way for Luxair to avoid operating a mixed fleet. The airline needs a replacement for both the De Havilland Canada Dash 8 and the Boeing 737. While the Airbus A220-300 or the Embraer E915-E2 could replace the smaller aircraft, Luxair still needs something the size of the Airbus A320 or A321. 

The A220-500 would be ideal, adds Feith. However, it may still be some time before we see this aircraft.  

Plans for a stretched version of the A220 go back to the birth of the airliner, as Bombardier, which designed the aircraft as the C-Series, discussed the possibility of the aircraft as early as 2012. 

After Airbus took over the production of the C-Series, rebranding it the A220, the company hinted that the -500 variant could be a possible successor to the A320 family. 

In 2021, Airbus CCO Christian Scherer said that it was “not a question of if, but when” a stretched A220 would succeed the A320. However, the company has not shared any plans regarding the production or launch of the aircraft. 

Meanwhile, numerous airlines have expressed interest in purchasing the stretched variant. In October 2021, Air France-KLM revealed it was in preliminary discussions with Airbus, with the airline predicting that the A220-500 would replace its A320s in five-years’ time. 

American startup airline Breeze Airways also admitted that it had been discussing the possibility of a longer-range variant with Airbus, although it has not specified if that would be the A220-500 or the A220-300 with additional modifications. 

Latvian flag carrier airBaltic has also said it is looking forward to both a stretched and a longer-range A220, which could supplement its all-A220-300 fleet. 

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