Airbus is holding their Innovation Days in Toulouse today at the Airbus Leadership Academy, and these are two days which deserve to be specifically observed it is the first time the Airbus management team is going to be around with the media ever since the new CEO, Guillaume Faury, took over charge last month. Innovation Days are the global press-briefings that Airbus holds before the Paris Airshow. This year is also special, because it is Airbus’s 50th year being completed next week.
Many issues will be discussed, and I’ll try and keep up to speed. But here is the first one, which is very interesting. The Airbus 220, which is a plane I’ve watched very keenly since it turned over from being Bombardier C Series to the Airbus 220 last July.
Airbus, today announced, that the A220 Family aircraft, the newest single-aisle aircraft, which focusses on the 100-150 seater market, will be offering increased range starting from the second half of 2020, on the back of increased take-off weight of the aircraft.
The A220’s maximum take-off weight is going to increase by 2,268 kg (2.3 metric tonnes). The new MTOW will increase the respective maximum range capabilities to 3,350nm for the A220-300 and 3,400nm for the A220-100, approximately 450nm more than currently advertised.
This performance increase is achieved by taking credit of existing structural and systems margins as well as existing fuel volume capacity. This will allow airlines to tap into new routes that were not possible before, connecting key cities in Western Europe with the Middle East or from Southeast Asia to Australia. From an Indian perspective too the range bump looks very impressive.
Airbus has 530 of these aircraft on order, and just earlier this week, they delivered their 12,000th aircraft, which was an Airbus 220 built in Canada for Delta.
There are interesting use cases for the small aircraft in India as well, such as the Airbus 220, but will any airline buy them or just position the bigger single aisles is yet to be seen!