Airbus introduces the A220

As at end-June 2019, Airbus received a total 551 firm orders of the A220 from 21 customers

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

AIRBUS SE introduced a new 100 to 150 seaters aircraft, the A220, and the plane maker estimates 7,000 aircraft of that category of plane market in the next 20 years.

Marketing director Christine De Gagné said Asia Pacific is expected to account for 20% of the demand.

De Gagné said the response among airline operators and stakeholders in Malaysia has been very positive on the new single-aisle airplane.

“There is a strong interest. We believe the aircraft really fits the market on its superior range while bringing 100 to 150 passengers up to Japan or Australia,” she said during a demonstration tour of A220-300 in Sepang on Saturday.

The A220 family comprises the smaller A220-100 and larger A220-300, which are the only passenger aircraft purposely built for the 100- to 150-seat sectors.

It completes Airbus’ single-aisle offer by filling the gap between large single-aisle and regional aircrafts.

De Gagné said the A220 complements the A320 family which is already in the company’s fleet.

As at the end of June 2019, the Toulouse, France-headquartered airframe maker received a total of 551 firm orders of the A220 from 21 customers.

Seventy-eight units have been delivered to five operators namely SWISS, airBaltic, Korean Air, Air Tanzania and Delta.

Airbus has an over 60% market share in the region’s single-aisle market, with more than 3,000 aircraft in services by 80 airlines and over 1,500 on order for delivery.

Malaysia is Airbus’ third-largest market in Asia Pacific after China and India.

The A220 has a 20% lower fuel burn than previous generation of aircraft, powered by two Pratt & Whitney’s latest generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines.

De Gagné said the aircraft, which has a range of up to 3,400nm (6,300km), is ideal for carriers that want to open new regional routes with flights of up to eight hours.

The A220 has a full fly-by-wire system, large windows and the widest economy class seats.