Airbus A220

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Airbus A220
EGLF - Airbus A220 - C-FFDD (29611885798) .jpg
Airbus A220-300
Type: Twin-engine airliner
Design country:

CanadaCanada Canada

First flight:

16th September 2013


15th July 2016

Production time:

In series production since 2013

Number of pieces:

107 (as of January 31, 2020)

The Airbus A220 ( Bombardier CSeries until July 10, 2018 ) is an aircraft family that was originally developed and built by the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace . After Airbus acquired a majority of the program in October 2017, the narrow-body aircraft will be manufactured by Airbus Canada , a limited partnership between Airbus and Investissement Québec .

There are two variants of the aircraft, the Airbus A220-100 (previously CS100) with 108-133 seats, and the Airbus A220-300 (previously CS300) with 130-165 seats. The CS300 is about the size of the smallest variants of the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families .

On September 16, 2013, the CS100 made its maiden flight from Montreal-Mirabel Airport . The entry into commercial flight operations took place on July 15, 2016 with a CS100 from Swiss . The CS300 took off for the first time on February 27, 2015 , and Air Baltic was the first airline to use it from December 14, 2016.


Prehistory: Bombardier BRJX

As early as September 1998 in Farnborough, Bombardier presented the project for a 90 to 110-seat aircraft called Bombardier Regional Jet Expansion . Although the manufacturer abandoned the project two years later, it set up a separate division for the later New Commercial Aircraft Project (NCAP) in spring 2004 under the direction of Gary Scott, who was previously responsible for the 737 Next Generation at Boeing . On July 19, 2004, Bombardier presented the NCAP project in Farnborough and named the aircraft CSeries.

Bombardier CSeries : First attempt

Bombardier officially presented the concept of a new model family called CSeries for the first time on March 15, 2005, with the regional jet originally scheduled to fly for the first time in 2008 and to begin operations in 2010. The CSeries should consist of the C110 and the C130, which should have 110 and 130 seats respectively in a standard configuration. Bombardier wanted to expand its model range upwards; this ended by then with the Bombardier CRJ900 with space for 90 passengers. Problems arose for Bombardier in the development of the aircraft family at an early stage.

The problem area of ​​engines

Developing a regional jet family from scratch was considered very risky in the industry, not least after the failure of the Dornier 728 . As a result, there was initially no engine manufacturer who wanted to develop and produce a new engine for the CSeries. However, the availability of new engines was a basic requirement for the CSeries to make a technological leap that would have enabled a significant reduction in direct operating costs compared to existing models. Only the CFM International CFM 56, which had been used for twenty years and was actually too strong (found on the A320 and 737, among others), the somewhat too weak but relatively new BR715 engine from Rolls-Royce and the new PW6000 from Pratt were available & Whitney , which was specially developed for the Airbus A318 , but was unable to meet the promised performance specifications for a long time. The two consortia CFM International and IAE rejected a new development. At first only the PW6000 seemed to come into question, but discussions about the use of the type for the CSeries came to nothing, also because the savings with this engine would have been at best around 11% compared to older models.

Lack of customers

The second major problem was the lack of customers. Above all, Bombardier was hoping for a large order from one of the North American airlines, especially Northwest Airlines , which had to replace a large number of Douglas DC-9s from 2005 onwards . A CSeries order by Northwest failed, among other things, because the aircraft would have been needed before the earliest possible delivery date in 2010. In addition, half of all US airlines operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2005/06 , which made it impossible to order a large number of new regional aircraft.

After no launch customer could be found by an internally set deadline, Bombardier drastically reduced the scope of the program with effect from January 31, 2006 - engineering capacities were withdrawn from the CSeries project and assigned to other projects. Only a fuselage team of around 50 engineers remained assigned to the CSeries. Instead, the construction of the Bombardier CRJ1000 , a version of the CRJ900 extended to 100 seats, was pushed ahead. Plans for a correspondingly large version of the De Havilland DHC- 8-400 turboprop aircraft also remained.

Bombardier CSeries : Second attempt

On January 31, 2007, Bombardier announced at the annual press conference for 2006 that the planning of the CSeries would continue to be active. It is now assumed that a 15 percent improvement in fuel consumption will be achieved compared to current models and that there is increased interest from potential customers and partners; they are still negotiating with international partners about participation in development and production. Due to the reduced development activities, commissioning was targeted in 2013. Overall, it is anticipated that there will be market potential for 5,800 aircraft in the next 20 years, but not primarily from US airlines. In addition, it became known that there are plans to increase the proportion of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic , especially in the wing construction , and thus achieve a further gain in efficiency.

Breakthrough in the engine search

PW1500G in test mode (left wing inside)

The search for a suitable engine for the CSeries continued to cause problems. A breakthrough was announced in November 2007 after long negotiations. Pratt & Whitney Canada have agreed to develop a new engine that will be marketed as the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G . It is as geared constructed (Geared Turbofan, GTF) with a reduction gear between the turbine and fan, which is both fuel consumption and also reduces the noise level.

Start of sales

Airbus A220-100 ( CS100 ) of the first operator Swiss International Air Lines

On February 22, 2008, Bombardier Aerospace announced that the parent company's board of directors had given its parent company approval to officially market the CSeries and to enter into binding sales negotiations with customers. At that time, the manufacturer said that the CSeries would consume around 20% less fuel and cause 15% lower operating costs than the current types in this size class.

On 13 July 2008 was of intent by Lufthansa announced for 30 aircraft plus 30 options, making the development program was officially launched. These 30 aircraft were firmly ordered on March 11, 2009 to replace the Avro RJ100 at Swiss International Air Lines . With the letter of intent from Lufthansa / Swiss, the variants were renamed to make it clear that they were no longer working on the same drafts as before the suspension of development. The C110 became the CS100 , the C130 the CS300 , which now has a capacity of up to 160 seats, depending on the configuration.

Test program and operational introduction

First flight of the CS100 or the Airbus A220-100
First flight of the CS300 or the Airbus A220-300
Airbus A220-300 ( CS300 ) from Air Baltic

After delays caused by problems with suppliers and the results of technical tests, the maiden flight of a CS100 took place on September 16, 2013, and the second prototype took to the air for the first time on January 3, 2014. On 18 December 2015, the CS100 received by Transport Canada , the type certificate .

The fifth prototype was the first aircraft of the type to be equipped with seating and painted in the colors of the first operator, Swiss . It was shown together with the first CS300 at the 51st Paris Air Show in June 2015 and presented to the press on June 18, 2015 at Zurich Airport . In March 2016, Bombardier began route testing from Zurich; a factory machine was tested in preparation for regular service on routes within Europe. The first Swiss aircraft with the registration HB-JBA was handed over in Mirabel on June 30, 2016 and then transferred to Zurich. The first scheduled service took place on July 15, 2016, the flight led from Zurich to Paris.

The first flight of the CS300 took place on February 27, 2015. The first aircraft was delivered to the first customer Air Baltic on November 28, 2016 , and regular flight operations began on December 14 with a flight from Riga to Amsterdam .

American punitive tariff crisis

After Bombardier won a tender from Delta Air Lines in April 2016 , the losing Boeing sued the decision, which, according to Boeing, had come about through dumping prices that were only possible through subsidies from Canada. In September 2017, Boeing won a preliminary ruling before the United States Department of Commerce . As a result, a penalty tariff of 219 percent should be due upon delivery to Delta . The decision still had to be confirmed by the United States International Trade Commission , which at the end of January 2018 could not see any damage to Boeing from the Canadian subsidies and unanimously rejected the application.

Airbus A220 : takeover and renaming by Airbus

The delays in the development and the continuously increasing development costs of the CSeries brought Bombardier into financial difficulties. A first attempt to sell the CSeries to Airbus or Embraer failed due to a lack of interest. Following the announcement of the creation of the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership ( CSALP ), in which Bombardier Aerospace has a 50.5% stake and the province of Québec with 49.5% and an investment of over one billion US dollars , it was announced on 23 Founded June 2016.

In October 2017 it was announced that Airbus would take over 50.01% of the shares in CSALP , the remaining shares would be held by Bombardier (31%) and Investissement Québec (19%). US customers are to be supplied from the Airbus plant in the US state of Alabama , which is to be expanded for this purpose. Airbus emphasized that negotiations with Bombardier began before the threat of US punitive measures against Bombardier.

As part of the takeover by Airbus, the CSeries has been marketed as the Airbus A220 since July 10, 2018 , with the CS100 becoming the A220-100 and the CS300 becoming the A220-300.

At the beginning of 2020, Bombardier finally sold its remaining shares in the company now known as Airbus Canada . Airbus now holds 75% and Québec 25% of the shares.

Since August 5, 2019, there has been another production line for the A220 at the American Airbus plant in Mobile , Alabama . This serves primarily as a reaction to the possible American punitive tariffs on the aircraft, which are to be circumvented by an assembly line in the USA. The first A220 machine from the factory, an A220-300 for Delta Air Lines, is due to be delivered in the third quarter of 2020. A production rate of 40–50 A220s per year is planned.

economic aspects

The Airbus A220 is currently the only type of aircraft specially designed for 110 to 160 passengers. The main competitor for the smaller Airbus A220-100 is the Embraer 195-E2 with a maximum capacity of 146 passengers: It is the longest version of the Embraer E-Jets , which is why it has to cede capacity for performance due to its design. For example, it lags significantly behind the A220-100 in terms of range and payload under difficult conditions such as hot and high , without at the same time offering advantages in terms of kerosene consumption. However, it has a simpler design and can therefore undercut the A220-100 in terms of sales price. The larger A220-300, on the other hand, can be compared with the Airbus A319neo and the Boeing 737 MAX 7 in terms of size . Both models have a significantly higher kerosene consumption and are therefore only selling slowly. Since the announcement of the takeover of the former CSeries program, Airbus has been marketing the A319 as a model for special needs such as long-haul or hot-and-high conditions , where the A319 can use its more powerful engines.

Looking at list prices , an A220-100 costs approximately $ 81 million in 2018, compared to approximately $ 68.5 million for an Embraer 195-E2, and an A220-300 costs approximately $ 91.5 million, versus $ 101.5 million for an A319neo. The informative value of the list prices is, however, low, as they depend on the desired equipment and, moreover, usually considerable discounts are granted for large orders.

Used by airlines in Europe

The larger operators in Europe include the launch customer Swiss and the Latvian flag carrier Air Baltic , both of which operated 49 aircraft together in October 2019. Air Baltic had long-term plans to exclusively operate this model.

Swiss ordered all aircraft in its A220 fleet to undergo an unscheduled inspection at short notice in October 2019 after two aircraft had to turn around shortly after take-off due to problems with the low-pressure compressor of the engines. Similar incidents had previously occurred in the USA, and the US Federal Aviation Administration had already issued an airworthiness directive in the case.


Cockpit of an A220-300 ( CS300 )
Cabin of an A220-100 ( CS100 )

The generously dimensioned cabin is intended to achieve a high level of comfort for this aircraft class - Bombardier names arm room, cabin window size and new lighting technology as essential features. The trunk width allows a maximum of five seats per row. The larger-than-average luggage compartments, like the seats , galleys , vacuum toilets , oxygen candles and masks , lighting, insulation and water system, come from Zodiac Aerospace .

The aircraft consists of 46% composite materials . The tailplane and rudder built by Alenia are made entirely of this material. The same applies to the wings , which are manufactured by Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services in Belfast , Northern Ireland . The fuselage and cockpit section built by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation in China are made of lightweight aluminum-lithium alloys . Rockwell Collins is responsible for the electronics : The “Pro-Line-Fusion” avionics consists of 15-inch screens and an electronic monitoring system . The fly-by-wire , fuel and hydraulic systems are supplied by Parker . For the development and production of the nose and main landing gear and the pressurized cabin system is Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg responsible.


Short version 100 in side view and top view, long version 300 from the side and from the front

The Airbus A220 is offered in two versions, the A220-100 for 108 to 135 passengers and the A220-300 for 130 to 165 passengers. The main difference is the length of the trunk. Both variants allow ETOPS flights over 180 minutes and can be up to three hours away from the nearest alternate airport.


First delivered A220-100 with the registration HB-JBA

The A220-100 is the basic version of the Airbus A220. It is 35 meters long and can transport up to 135 passengers over a distance of 5,741 km. The A220-100 had its maiden flight in September 2013, the first delivery to SWISS took place in June 2016. As of February 2020, there were a total of 95 orders for the A220-100, 39 of which have already been delivered.


First delivered A220-300 with the registration YL-CSA

The A220-300 is a 3.7 m to 38.7 m variant of the basic version. It can carry up to 160 passengers over a distance of 6,112 km. The A220-300 had its maiden flight in February 2015, the first delivery to Air Baltic took place in November 2016. In mid-2019 the maximum take-off weight of both versions was increased by 2.3 tons, increasing the range by approx. 450 nautical miles. Delta Airlines took over the first such certified machine on June 18, 2019. With 563 orders and 72 deliveries to date, the A220-300 is by far the most popular variant of the narrow-body aircraft (as of February 2020).


As early as 2013, a further extension of the CSeries was described as "sensible" by the then SWISS managing director Harry Hohmeister ; but never implemented by Bombardier for financial reasons. The name CS500 was already legally protected at that time. After the takeover of the CSeries by Airbus, the development of a further extended A220 was debated again. The at that time designated Airbus boss Guillaume Faury described a further extension as "very likely" if the current production is economically viable. An A220-500 can be expected with around 170 seats in 34 rows.


A final extension to the A220-900 is currently not being discussed; however, the name CS900 was also legally protected by Bombardier in 2013. In fact, a renewed extension is unlikely, since the segment of an A220-900 with presumably 170-180 seats is already covered by the A320neo in the Airbus portfolio.

Technical specifications

Parameter Airbus A220-100
(Bombardier CS100)
Airbus A220-300
(Bombardier CS300)
length 35.00 m 38.70 m
Wingspan 35.10 m
Wing area 112.3 m²
height 11.50 m
Hull diameter 3.70 m
Cabin length 23.7 m 27.5 m
Max. Cabin width 3.28 m
Cabin height 2.11 m
Passenger capacity
(configuration, seat spacing)
135 (1 class, 71 cm)
125 (1 class, 76 cm)
110 (1 class, 81 cm)
108 (2 classes, 91 cm / 81 cm)
160 (1 class, 71 cm)
150 (1 class, 76 cm)
135 (1 class, 81 cm)
130 (2 classes, 91 cm / 81 cm)
Freight volume 23.7 m³ 31.6 m³
Cargo mass 3,629 kg 4,853 kg
Empty mass no information no information
Max. Takeoff mass ( MTOM ) Base: 54,885 kg
Max: 60,781 kg
Base: 59,874 kg
Max: 67,585 kg
Max. Landing mass Base: 51,029 kg
Max: 52,390 kg
Base: 56,472 kg
Max: 58,740 kg
payload Base: 13,767 kg
Max: 15,127 kg
Base: 16,670 kg
Max: 18,711 kg
Engine types Two geared - jet engines
PW1519G / PW1521G / PW1524G / PW1525G
thrust 2 × 84.1 kN
2 × 93.4 kN
2 × 103.6 kN
2 × 93.4 kN
2 × 103.6 kN
Maximum speed 871 km / h ( Mach 0.82)
Cruising speed 827 km / h ( Mach 0.78)
Service ceiling 12,500 m (41,000 ft )
Range 5,741 km (3,100 NM ) 6,112 km (3,300 NM)
Take-off route
Base: 1219 m
Max: 1463 m
Base: 1524 m
Max: 1890 m
Landing route
Base: 1356 m
Max: 1387 m
Base: 1463 m
Max: 1509 m
List price $ 52.4 million $ 59.1 million
First flight 16th September 2013 February 27, 2015
Commissioning June 30, 2016 ( Swiss ) December 14, 2016 ( Air Baltic )

Orders and deliveries

Orders and deliveries by year (cumulative)

According to the current order and delivery overview from Airbus (as of January 31, 2020), a total of 658 orders have been placed for the A220, 95 of which are for the A220-100 and 563 for the A220-300.

Tabular listing of orders

The following table lists all firm orders.

airline A220-100 A220-300 total
FranceFrance Air Austral 0 3 3
LatviaLatvia Air Baltic 0 50 50
CanadaCanada Air Canada 0 45 45
FranceFrance Air France 0 60 60
United StatesUnited States Air Lease Corporation ** 0 50 50
SenegalSenegal Air Sénégal 0 8th 8th
TanzaniaTanzania Air Tanzania *** 0 4th 4th
VanuatuVanuatu Air Vanuatu 2 2 4th
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Airlines 0 4th 4th
United StatesUnited States Delta Air Lines 45 50 95
EgyptEgypt Egypt Air 0 12 12
RussiaRussia GTLK (State Transport Leasing Company) ** 0 6th 6th
BahrainBahrain Gulf Air 10 0 10
RussiaRussia Ilyushin Finance Co. ** 0 14th 14th
IraqIraq Iraqi Airways 0 5 5
United StatesUnited States Jetblue Airways 0 70 70
Korea SouthSouth Korea Korean Air 0 10 10
IrelandIreland LCI ** 3 17th 20th
IrelandIreland Macquarie Air Finance ** 0 40 40
United StatesUnited States Moxy 0 60 60
IrelandIreland Nordic Aviation Capital ** 6th 14th 20th
United KingdomUnited Kingdom Odyssey Airlines 10 0 10
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia SaudiGulf Airlines 0 16 16
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Swiss * 9 21st 30th
unnamed buyer 10 2 12
total 95 563 658

* The planes are officially bought by the mother company Lufthansa , but go to Swiss International Air Lines.
** This is a leasing company .
*** The planes are officially purchased by the Tanzanian Government Flight Agency (TGFA) but are intended to be used by Air Tanzania .

Diagram of orders & deliveries

As of July 31, 2019

Web links

Commons : Airbus A220  - collection of images, videos and audio files

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