Airbus Canada Delivers its 220th A220

12 July 2022

The A220 confirms its breakthrough on the small single-aisle market

JetBlue First flight

60 millions passengers, more than 700 routes and over 760 orders in the backlog. Airbus celebrates this week the 220th A220 delivery six years after its entry into service. A fast growth that highlights the A220 breakthrough on the small single-aisle market. Check-it out!

The 220th A220 – an A220-300 – was recently delivered to JetBlue, the largest A220 customer with 100 A220s on order and already 10 in service. Beyond a symbol, the 220th A220 marks an important milestone for Airbus and its successful single-aisle Family six years after the first aircraft – an A220-100 – was handed over to the Programme’s launch operator SWISS International Air Lines. 
 

A game-changing aircraft for operator

Six years later, the A220 continuously attracts operators and passengers, offering both high flexibility – from 30 minutes to seven hours flights – and efficiency – with 25% less fuel burn & CO2 emissions and 50% less noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft. And many airlines across the world including Air Canada, Air France and JetBlue have selected the A220 to reach their environmental targets, as part of a collective effort to lead the aerospace industry’s decarbonisation journey. To date, the A220 Family proudly flies in the liveries of more than 15 airlines on over 700 routes and 300 destinations worldwide.

Opening new horizons for passengers

In the last six years, the A220 has been able to unlock numerous routes for passengers from North America to Asia Pacific, Africa and Europe, connecting around 60 millions passengers who enjoyed a bright cabin with large panoramic windows, wider seats, offering them superior comfort and personal space. On the North American continent, where the A220 is headquartered and built, airlines such as JetBlue, Breeze Airways, Air Canada and Delta Air Lines, have always been focused on the passenger experience, and the A220 fits perfectly with that philosophy by offering true widebody comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. This is also the case in Europe with Latvia-based airBaltic which has been flying an exclusive A220-300 fleet since 2020 and has made the A220 its operation backbone offering passengers a unique flying experience. In the U.S., the A220 is also highly appreciated for providing non-stop service between underserved routes at affordable fares, offering point-to-point flights from smaller secondary airports, and bypassing hubs for shorter travel times.

Airbus Canada 220th A220 A growing family Infographic

 

Meeting the growing demand

With an A220 order book that has more than doubled since 2018, Airbus is expanding its industrial footprint to support the increasing demand for the A220. In addition to the headquartered final assembly line (FAL) in Mirabel, Canada, Airbus extended its A220 assembly capacity to the U.S.-based A320 FAL located in Mobile, Alabama in January 2019. More recently, Mirabel welcomed an additional pre-assembly line, becoming the first Airbus pre-FAL located outside of Europe. This expansion will allow Airbus to more than double the current A220 production rates to 14 aircraft per month by the middle of this decade and meet a market need estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, namely due to the current acceleration in aging aircraft fleet replacement needs. The A220 has taken off and is on a path to great success, flying towards an exciting future, one that Airbus Teams around the world are committed to!

Airbus A220 Family in flight
The A220 Family

Airbus Canada A220 site in Mirabel expands with the addition of a 125,000 ft2 sub-assembly area

  • Concentration of aircraft fuselage section preparation at one location
  • Supporting A220 aircraft production ramp up, expected to more than double

MIRABEL, QC, March 29, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – An additional 125,000 ft2 (11,600 m2) area to support the upstream assembly of A220 aircraft subcomponents has been unveiled by Airbus in Mirabel. The additional space, equivalent to more than seven NHL ice hockey rinks, has been designed to support the A220 production ramp up capacity, which is expected to more than double in the next few years. It is Airbus’ first subcomponents pre-assembly zone (“pre-FAL”) outside Europe. With this latest addition, Airbus Canada’s A220 site in Mirabel is now close to 1.4 million ft2 (130,000 m2) and employs over 2,500 people.

“It is a great pleasure to unveil today our new sub-assembly area, which will contribute to more than doubling the A220 aircraft production capacity over the next few years. The expansion of our Mirabel site, with the addition of this new zone, is a clear signal ofAirbus’ confidence in the A220 programme. The pre-FAL is central to ensuring the success of the A220 production ramp-up,” said Benoît Schultz, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus Canada, during the official visit, held in Mirabel with employees, the Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation, M. Pierre Fitzgibbon, representatives of Investissement Quebec as well as Airbus executives.

“The new Mirabel pre-assembly plant will enable Airbus to reduce its assembly costs and boost the A220 program’s competitiveness. This news confirms the strategic positioning of the aerospace industry in Quebec,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation.

This new sub-assembly area will increase the efficiency of A220 production operations and significantly reduce the time required for the aircraft final assembly. From now on, the preparation of aircraft fuselage sections will be concentrated in one location. After sub-assembly, these components will be sent to one of the two A220 final assembly sites in either Mirabel, Quebec or Mobile, Alabama. This new process will enable the A220 production rate to increase from six  aircraft a month to 14 aircraft per month by the middle of the decade.

The new A220 Pre-FAL construction works began about a year ago, and required collaboration with major local suppliers. Around 250 employees from the Mirabel A220 site supported the preparation of the new sub-assembly operations in this area. Over the past few months, these employees have received customized trainings to help them transition from working on a fixed workstation to working on a “pulsed line”.

🔗 Link to Video

The Mirabel A220 site is the headquarters of the A220 programme. In addition to this new pre-assembly line and two final assembly lines, Mirabel site also includes engineering, support functions, in-service support as well as development and delivery to customers. A second assembly site is also located in Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A., and is dedicated to the final assembly and delivery of A220 aircraft for the U.S. market.

To date, more than 25 customers have placed firm orders for 740 A220 aircraft out of which around 200 have been delivered to over 15 customers. The Airbus Canada Limited Partnership, which is responsible for the A220 aircraft programme, hastwo shareholders: Airbus, which holds 75% of the shares, and Investissement Québec, which holds 25%.

Airbus in Canada

With a presence in several Canadian provinces, Airbus has approximately 4,000 employees across the country and generates more than 23,000 indirect jobs in the Canadian aerospace sector through various collaborations. Thus, Airbus procures from approximately 665 suppliers in nine Canadian provinces, for an approximate value of CAD$ 1.8 billion. All Airbus divisions are present in Canada: commercial aircraft (A220) in Mirabel, QC, helicopters in Fort Erie, ON, and defence and space in Ottawa, ON. Airbus’ wholly-owned subsidiaries, STELIA Aerospace and NAVBLUE, also have operations in the country.

Air Canada reportedly in talks to add Airbus A321s as COVID subsides

From BNN Bloomberg News 🔗 link to source story

Charlotte Ryan, Siddharth Philip and Layan Odeh, Bloomberg News | 23 February 2022

Air Canada is in talks with Airbus SE about adding longer-distance A321neo jets alongside its fleet of Boeing Co. 737 narrowbodies as travel demand rebounds, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The carrier is looking at ordering 10 to 20 aircraft, one of the people said. The negotiations are preliminary and may not lead to a deal, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing matters that aren’t public.

While Air Canada was an established operator of Airbus’s original A320 family, it chose the Boeing Max in the contest between new-generation planes. Adding a small fleet of A321neos would bring a further boost for an Airbus model that can carry 220 people in two classes over longer distances than the rival Max 10.

Air Canada is also talking with jet lessors about sourcing the A321s, one of the people said.

An Airbus spokeswoman declined to comment on any discussions the company may have with customers. 

Air Canada referenced a Feb. 18 conference call, when Chief Executive Officer Michael Rousseau discussed fleet renewal initiatives as the airline emerges from the pandemic. Last May, the CEO said that Airbus A321LR, or long range, models “potentially have a place in the Air Canada fleet as we go forward.”
 

AIRLINE PIVOTS

Other airlines have also returned to growth mode, looking ahead to fielding newer, less-polluting planes in the post-pandemic era as the drag on demand caused by the coronavirus starts to lift.

Qatar Airways, JetBlue Airways Corp. and Allegiant Travel Co. are among carriers making fresh narrow-body commitments since the start of the year. 

IAG SA, the parent of British Airways, is in advanced talks on a mixed order for dozens of single-aisle jets, including up to 50 Boeing Co. 737 Max and Airbus A320s also being discussed, Reuters reported earlier, citing industry sources. 

The order would be a step down from the 200-plane Max commitment to announced with fanfare at the Paris air show in 2019, yet it would still mark a victory for Boeing after IAG reopened the contest last year. IAG currently operates Airbus narrow-bodies.
 

AIR CANADA PLANS

Air Canada, which said Tuesday it will relaunch 34 international routes, announced last week that it had reinstated a commitment for 12 Airbus A220s, a smaller jet originally designed and built by Canada’s Bombardier Inc. 

The deliveries were canceled in 2020 after the virus stifled demand and Air Canada struggled to secure pandemic aid from the government. The carrier also scaled back its Boeing Max deal by a third to 40, and deferred some of those handovers. 

In November, Air Canada changed course, accelerating Max deliveries and reversing two of the A220 cancellations to restore its network.

As it stands, the fleet comprises around 170 aircraft, including older A320s and a Boeing-dominated wide-body lineup.

The A321, prized by airlines for its combination of capacity and range, is in short supply with yearslong production backlogs. Airbus’s cancellation of a Qatar Airways order amid a contract dispute could free up some capacity, though a London judge has ordered the manufacturer to hold the slots for now.

JetBlue Adds 30 Airbus A220s to Order Book, Further Enhancing the Financial and Operational Performance of Its Next Generation Fleet

JetBlue Converts 30 Aircraft Options to Firm Order, Accelerating E190 Retirement

Airbus A220 aircraft. Photo courtesy of JetBlue. (Photo: Business Wire)
Airbus A220 aircraft. Photo courtesy of JetBlue. (Photo: Business Wire)

February 15, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) today announced an agreement to exercise its option to add 30 additional Airbus A220-300 aircraft to its order book, bringing the total number of A220s in the airline’s fleet and on order to 100. The aircraft’s strong economics and operational performance are a key to JetBlue’s long-term cost performance, while also enabling more sustainable flying, greater flexibility to support JetBlue’s network strategy, and the introduction of its all-new onboard experience to more customers.

“We’re already seeing benefits from the eight A220s we’ve added to the fleet, and we’re very happy to have more on the way”

“We’re already seeing benefits from the eight A220s we’ve added to the fleet, and we’re very happy to have more on the way,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We’ve seen double-digit increases in customer satisfaction scores, and these fuel-efficient aircraft support our leadership in reducing carbon emissions. With 30 additional A220s on order, we’re in a position to accelerate our fleet modernization plans to deliver stronger cost performance and support our focus city network strategy.”

“It is very rewarding to see a happy customer coming back for more aircraft not even a year after entry into service of its first A220. We salute our friends at JetBlue on this landmark deal,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International. “Over 700 A220 orders to date underscore the strong market appetite for this all-new single aisle aircraft.”

In 2018, JetBlue announced its initial order of 60 A220s and the option for 60 additional aircraft. JetBlue converted 10 of 60 options to firm orders in 2019, and the 30 A220s announced today will enable acceleration of the retirement of JetBlue’s Embraer E190 fleet.

Exceptional Fuel Efficiency & Economics

The A220 offers nearly 30 percent lower direct operating costs per seat compared to the fleet it is replacing, supporting the airline’s focus on keeping costs low. Additionally, the aircraft’s range and seating capacity will add flexibility to JetBlue’s network strategy as it targets growth in its focus cities, including options for transcontinental flying and opening the door to new markets and routes not feasible with the airline’s existing fleet.

The A220 is powered exclusively by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines, which deliver double-digit improvements in fuel and carbon emissions. Optimizing fuel burn is an important first step in JetBlue’s sustainability strategy, and prioritizing fuel-efficient aircraft and engines aligns with JetBlue’s approach to reducing emissions. Earlier this year, JetBlue became the first major U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all domestic flights, and later announced its plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions across all operations by 2040.

Considerable Comfort

The A220’s spacious and comfortable cabin makes it the perfect fit for JetBlue, which has consistently led U.S. airlines in onboard experience.

The airline’s A220s are outfitted with 140 Collins Meridian seats, customized around customer feedback and featuring a number of design elements with comfort and convenience in mind. Seating is arranged in a two-by-three configuration offering multiple seating options for all party sizes and includes USB-C, USB-A and AC power at every seat. JetBlue – which offers the most legroom in coacha – maximizes the A220’s ultra-modern design to create an elevated customer experience throughout the interior.

Keeping customers connected and entertained is also on display aboard JetBlue’s A220 with Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 connectivity. With this system, JetBlue offers every customer high-definition screens at every seat and personalized entertainment choices. Additionally, JetBlue is the only U.S. carrier with free high-speed Fly-Fi® on every plane, providing customers with the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices to stream, surf, or chat during the entire flight, from gate to gate. Fly-Fi® connectivity is available in nearly every region that JetBlue fliesb.

Every aspect of the aircraft has been meticulously customized to create the perfect environment to deliver JetBlue’s award-winning service. Customer comfort is enhanced with bigger windows for better views and a more spacious feel, reconfigured overhead bins for additional carry-on bag capacity and custom LED mood lighting designed to provide a more soothing inflight experience with lighting scenarios that change with time of day or phase of flight.

Future of the Fleet

JetBlue’s first A220 aircraft arrived in December 2020 and the airline is on track to take delivery of its ninth A220 this month. Nine more are scheduled for delivery in 2022, followed by another 21 in 2023. Ultimately, these A220s will replace the airline’s E190s, with the last E190 exiting in 2026.

JetBlue’s initial order for 60 A220 aircraft was announced in July 2018.

Quebec, Airbus pledge an extra US$1.2 billion to speed up production of A220 jet

From the Montreal Gazette 🔗 link to source story and future update

The province and the planemaker also agreed to push back the date when Airbus can buy back Quebec’s stake in the joint venture to 2030.

Frédéric Tomesco, Montreal Gazette | February 4, 2022

Employees work on an Airbus A220-300 at a facility in Mirabel. The company will consider building a larger version of the A220 once profitability has been achieved, Airbus Canada said.
Employees work on an Airbus A220-300 at a facility in Mirabel. The company will consider building a larger version of the A220 once profitability has been achieved, Airbus Canada said. PHOTO BY CHRISTINNE MUSCHI /REUTERS file photo

Airbus and Quebec said Friday they will jointly invest US$1.2 billion to expand and speed up production of the A220 narrow body jet in Mirabel. Quebec will contribute US$300 million while the European planemaker injects US$900 million, according to a statement issued Friday.

Both parties also agreed to push back the date when Airbus can buy back Quebec’s stake in the joint venture by four years, to 2030.

Quebec first invested in the jet when it was known as the Bombardier C Series. Then-premier Philippe Couillard threw Bombardier a lifeline in 2015 by authorizing Investissement Québec to plough US$1 billion into the program for a 49.5 per cent stake. Bombardier eventually handed control of the C Series to Airbus — free of charge — in 2018, diluting Quebec’s stake, before exiting the venture two years ago.

Two years ago, Legault said it was “out of the question”  for Quebec to make a further investment in the A220. He also renewed his criticism of Couillard’s 2015 decision to pump money into the program instead of buying a stake in Bombardier.

Airbus has been pushing to cut production costs of the A220 since it took control of the C Series. Profitability — now envisaged for sometime around 2025 — will come from more efficient plants and increased sales.

The company will consider building a larger version of the A220 once profitability has been achieved, Airbus Canada chief executive Benoit Schultz said in November. The biggest version of the jet seats up to 160 passengers.

This story will be updated.

New Year Prospects: Air Canada’s Fleet In 2022

From Simple Flying – link to source story

by Chris Loh | January 1, 2022

Continuing its slow recovery from the worst of the global health crisis, major Canadian airline Air Canada the growth of its fleet in 2021. Notably, this consisted of the addition of a number of Airbus A220-300s as well as several Boeing 737 MAX 8s. Let’s take a glance at where Air Canada’s fleet stands at the start of 2022.

B737_Max_8_Water-1538
It appears that Air Canada took delivery of seven Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft during the 2nd half of 2021. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada’s fleet composition at a glance

According to data from Planespotters.net, Air Canada has the following aircraft in its fleet. The quantities are noted alongside the type, with the change from last year’s report (published June 2021) in parentheses.

Aircraft from Airbus*:
  • A220-300: 27 (+5)
  • A320-200: 17 (-1)
  • A321-200: 15 (no change)
  • A330-300: 16 (no change)

*We should note that the airline ordered the A220 when it was still known as the Bombardier CSeries.

Aircraft from Boeing:
  • 737 MAX 8: 31 (+7)
  • 767-300BCF*: 3 (+3)
  • 777-200LR: 6 (no change)
  • 777-300ER: 18 (-1)
  • 787-8: 8 (no change)
  • 787-9: 29 (no change)

*One Air Canada 767-300 has completed its conversion from passenger to freighter. The remaining two are in the process of being converted.

B777-300ER-4
It appears that one Boeing 777-300ER left the fleet. Photo: Air Canada

Growing the short and medium-haul fleet

As you can see from the changes since our last Air Canada fleet report, the carrier has gained five Airbus A220-300s and seven Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

As noted previously, there was a little bit of a back-and-forth when the carrier announced it would be canceling some of its orders in November of 2020, which would have seen orders for 12 A220s and 10 737 MAX 8s axed. However, one condition of the Canadian government’s rescue package was that it would proceed with its planned orders for both aircraft types. As a result, the airline has nine 737 MAX 8s and 18 A220-300s still on the way.

A220-300-2
The airline continues to grow its A220 and 737 numbers. Photo: Air Canada

Going big on cargo operations

One surprising standout number from our list was the “addition” of three Boeing 767-300s from last year. This change is, again, a bit of a back and forth. During the worst of the crisis, Air Canada had decided to retire its 767s.

However, cargo demand has been soaring amid increased eCommerce activity, decreased transportation capacity, and global supply chain snarls. These factors led the airline to convert its passenger 767s into full freighters, complete with a large door to handle containers on the main deck. Work was, and continues to be, done at IAI facilities in Tel Aviv.

It’s not just 767s and the bellies of passenger aircraft being used for cargo operations. At the time of this article’s publication, the carrier has four of its 16 A330-300s and seven of its 18 Boeing 777-300ERs operating as “preighters” (passenger freighters). These are passenger aircraft which have had their seats removed in order to accommodate freight. Making use of the fleet’s younger jets for reasons unknown, the airline was able to provide additional cargo capacity to Canada’s west coast, which had its main road and rail supply lines cut off from the rest of the country in November, due to extreme and extensive flooding.

Aviation Capital Group signs for 20 A220s and 40 A320neos

From AeroTime Hub – link to source story

VYTE KLISAUSKAITE | 31 DECEMBER 2021

US-based lessor Aviation Capital Group (ACG) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 20 Airbus A220s and a firm order contract for 40 Airbus A320neo family jets, five of which are Airbus A321XLRs. 

“We are delighted to expand our portfolio with additional A220 and A320neo Family aircraft. These highly advanced aircraft will enhance ACG’s strategic objective to offer our airline customers the most modern and fuel-efficient aircraft available,” said Thomas Baker, CEO and President of ACG.  

The Airbus A320neo aircraft is a standard single-aisle jet suitable for short and medium-haul operations. The aircraft has two engine options: Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM geared turbofan, and CFM International’s LEAP-1A. It has a maximum range of 6,400 nautical miles (11,853 kilometers) and is capable of seating up to 180 passengers.  

The Airbus A220 family aircraft, including the A220-100 and A220-300 variants, are tailored to serve the 100-150 seat market. The A220-100 has a maximum range of 6,390 kilometers and the A220-300 has 6,297 kilometers. The aircraft family has only one engine option, Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engine. 

“It also forcefully confirms the A220 as a growingly desirable aircraft and investment in the commercial aviation landscape. We congratulate and thank ACG for its decision to select both the A220 and A320neo Families,” said Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International. 

An Air Canada A220 Engine Shut Down Before Newark Diversion

From Simply Flying – link to source story

by Luke Bodell | November 11, 2021

I can An Air Canada A220-300 suffered an engine rollback on approach to LaGuardia Airport, forcing a diversion to Newark Airport for a safer landing. The aircraft was at 2,000 feet when it began to yaw unexpectedly, with the flight management system (FMS) indicating a problem with the right-hand engine.

Air Canada A220
The aircraft experienced an engine rollback upon approach to LaGuardia Airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The engine experienced a rollback to 30% N1 and did not respond to throttle movement. The crew decided to divert to nearby Newark Airport, with the aircraft touching down safely approximately 35 minutes after the incident.

Engine shutdown over LaGuardia Airport

On Monday 8th November, Air Canada Flight AC720 from Toronto to LaGuardia experienced an engine rollback as it was on approach to LaGuardia. Maintaining an altitude of around 2,000 feet, the Airbus A220-300 (registration: C-GNBE) began to yaw without prompting, with the crew receiving an FMS indication “One Engine.”

Delta Air Lines, Airbus A350, Deliveries
Pilots decided to land at nearby Newark Airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The right-hand engine (PW1524G) had rolled back to 30% N1 and was unresponsive to any throttle movement. The crew went around and shut down the engine before declaring a Mayday. Thereafter, the pilots decided that landing at nearby Newark Airport (25km away), with its longer runway, would be the safer option.

The plane diverted to Newark Airport

The aircraft touched down safely at Newark Airport around 35 minutes after the engine rollback, landing on runway 04R at 19:37 EST. Overall, the incident meant the flight landed 52 minutes later than its scheduled arrival time.

An Air Canada A220 Engine Shut Down Before Newark Diversion
Pilots chose Newark Airport for its longer runway. Flight data: RadarBox.com

LaGuardia Airport’s two runways are both 7,000 feet long, while at Newark Airport the runways are 10,000 feet. This gives pilots a crucial amount of extra distance to land safely in the event of an emergency.

PW1500G issues in the past

The engine which suffered a rollback was a Pratt & Whitney 1500G (PW1524G). The engine has experienced issues with inflight shutdowns in the past, most notably in 2019 when three high-profile incidents led Transport Canada to issue an emergency airworthiness directive (EAD).

The first incident, on July 25th, 2019, involved a Swiss Air Lines A220-300, which suffered a low-pressure compressor disintegration. Less than two months later, a second Swiss A220 experienced a similar issue with its low-pressure compressor.

An Air Canada A220 Engine Shut Down Before Newark Diversion
The PW1500G has experienced issues in the past. Photo: Air Canada

Then, a month later in October 2019, a third Swiss A220 suffered engine failure, forcing the airline to withdraw its fleet for inspection. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) at the time, calling for engine checks on certain Pratt & Whitney engines.

The directive stated,

“This AD requires initial and repetitive inspections of the low-pressure compressor (LPC) inlet guide vane (IGV) and the LPC rotor 1 (R1) and, depending on the results of the inspections,possible replacement of the LPC. This AD was prompted by two recent in-flight shutdowns (IFSDs) that occurred as the result of failures of the LPC R1.”

Lufthansa Weighs Airbus A220 Order to Boost Regional Jet Fleet

From BNN Bloomberg – link to source story

William Wilkes, Siddharth Philip and Charlotte Ryan, Bloomberg News

A new Airbus A220 single-aisle aircraft comes in to land in Toulouse, France, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Airbus renamed the C Series jet acquired from Bombardier Inc. the A220 and set a target of at least 100 orders for the aircraft this year.

A new Airbus A220 single-aisle aircraft comes in to land in Toulouse, France, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Airbus renamed the C Series jet acquired from Bombardier Inc. the A220 and set a target of at least 100 orders for the aircraft this year. , Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Lufthansa AG is considering buying more Airbus SE A220 jets to boost profitability on regional routes as European air travel recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter.

The German airline group is looking to simplify a regional fleet made up of several different models across its subsidiary brands, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are ongoing. A shift toward the lightweight A220 could help Lufthansa hold down spending on fuel, maintenance and training, they said.

Speaking after Lufthansa reported third quarter results, Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said the airline had sent proposal requests to regional jet manufacturers, the first stage in a potential aircraft acquisition.

There’s been no final decision, and it’s possible Lufthansa will go with a different manufacturer. Other models, including from Embraer SA, are among the possible choices, Spohr said on the call.

Spohr didn’t say how many planes are being considered. Lufthansa’s Swiss arm was a launch customer for the A220. It operates 21 A220-300s and 9 A220-100s. 

Airbus had no immediate comment.