Airbus has announced performance updates to its A220 family line. Starting in the second half of 2020, Airbus’ smallest commercial offering will have an increased Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) and range.
The MTOW of both A220 variants will increase by 2,268 kg (2.3 tonnes), for an increased range of 450 nautical miles. The smaller A220-100 will then offer a range of 3,400nm, and the larger A220-300 will be capable of flying 3,350nm, which will allow it to better compete with its closest competition: Boeing’s smallest jet, the 737 MAX 7, and it’s own A319neo whilst being able to operate from smaller airports than either.
It is not explicitly clear as to how the performance improvements are obtained, as Airbus only states that the improvements are due to “taking credit of existing structural and systems margins as well as existing fuel volume capacity.”
Airbus obtained the A220 programme from Bombardier in October 2017, when the aircraft was called the Bombardier CSeries (100 and 300 models). Ultimately taking a 50.01% stake in the project, the deal was finalised in July 2018 and the aircraft was renamed to the Airbus A220. A total of 536 orders for the type have been placed by airlines, 451 of which are for the larger -300 model, which is able to carry up to 160 passengers. Delta Air Lines is the largest customer globally, with a total of 90 aircraft ordered, comprised of 40 -100 and 50 -300 models.
Matt is a London-based writer and reporter for International Flight Network who has been involved in aviation from a very young age. He has a particular focus on aircraft safety, accidents and technical details.