Airbus have released pictures of Delta Air Lines first Airbus A220-100. The Delta A220 is, of course, a Bombardier CSeries aircraft, now renamed as the programme is majority owned by the European manufacturer.
Delta will be the first airline in the United States to operate this aircraft from early 2019. Let’s have a little look at why this jet is a little bit special.
Airbus, Bombardier and the Delta A220
In a saga worthy of Tolstoy, the Delta A220 order is – according to some sources – responsible for the whole CSeries programme being handed over to Airbus. On 28 April 2016, Delta ordered 75 of the CS100 aircraft with options for 50 more.
Boeing claimed Bombardier was dumping the aircraft at below cost and took legal action. The basis for this was that Boeing considered the CSeries to be in the same class as their 737 family.
Courts in the USA agreed, and a tariff of 292% was slapped on imports of the CSeries aircraft. After appeals, the tariff was struck down and the aircraft was permitted to be sold in the United States.
During this time, Bombardier experienced financial difficulties and eventually handed over 50.01% of the CSeries programme to Airbus. This allowed the company to leverage the Airbus sales, marketing, procurement and customer support network.
Is The A220 Any Good?
Airlines operating the CSeries constantly praised its performance. According to Leeham News, it was performing 1-3% ahead of target when it comes to fuel efficiency.
Powered provided by the ultra modern Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan means the comfortable five abreast cabin is whisper quiet in the cruise, which means passengers like it too.
I am very pleased that the Delta A220 saga ended in favour of Bombardier and Airbus. Having such a modern and efficient airliner hobbled by import tariffs seems the very antithesis of fair global competition.
Other airlines are considering the jet too, so we should see many more of these aircraft in the future. The production facility at Mirabel near Montreal in Canada – plus a new line in Alabama – will certainly be busy.
What do you think of the new A220 in Delta colours? Have you flown on a CSeries/A220 already with Swiss, AirBaltic or Korean Air? What was it like? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
All images via Airbus.