- Airline converts options to bring to 60 its total confirmed A220 order
- Advances Air Canada’s modernization program for more fuel-efficient fleet
MONTREAL, Oct. 26, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced that it has converted options for 15 Airbus A220-300 aircraft into firm orders, bringing to 60 the total number of the Canadian-built aircraft it will acquire for its fleet.
“This expanded order for the A220, built up the road from our Montreal headquarters, is an important development in the modernization of our fleet and a clear indication that we are emerging from the pandemic solidly positioned for the future. The A220 has become a mainstay of our narrowbody fleet, and its performance and passenger comfort are enabling us to compete effectively in the North American market,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada. “We are also proud to support the Canadian aerospace industry. This increased order will support jobs at Airbus’ Mirabel factory and affirms Air Canada’s positive economic impact in Montreal, Quebec and throughout Canada.”
“This third re-order for the A220 in 2022 confirms the strong confidence that airlines worldwide have for this game-changing aircraft,” said Benoît Schultz, CEO, Airbus Canada and Head of country Canada for Airbus. “With already over 30 aircraft in service in the country, this Canadian-designed and built aircraft has positively contributed to opening new routes as well as to making strides in reaching ambitious environmental goals for Air Canada – thanks to its unmatched efficiency.”
“Today’s announcement is important for our entire aviation sector. Not only will this advance Air Canada’s modernization program, but it will also contribute to making the sector greener while creating good jobs for Quebecers and all Canadians. Investments like these are helping our aerospace industry grow, innovate and prosper for Canadians,” said the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport.
“This is great news for our economy and for Canada’s aerospace industry. As we cement Canada’s position as the green supplier of choice for the sector, Air Canada has chosen to advance the modernization of their program for more fuel-efficient fleet using Canadian businesses and workers. This means thousands of well-paying jobs in Mirabel, Quebec and throughout the entire Canadian aerospace supply chain,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Air Canada placed its initial order for the A220, then known as the Bombardier C Series, in 2016, with a firm order for 45 aircraft and 30 options. The first A220 entered service for Air Canada in January 2020 and the airline currently operates a fleet of 31 A220s, with two more deliveries expected in 2022. Six more will be delivered in each of 2024 and 2025, with the 15 additional aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2026. All of Air Canada’s A220s are built in Mirabel.
The modern and fuel-efficient A220 is playing an important role in Air Canada meeting its commitment to reach a goal of net zero emissions from all global operations by 2050. It yields a 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption per seat, as well as a 25 per cent reduction in CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions compared to previous generation of aircraft and NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions that are 50 per cent below CAEP/6 standards. The A220 also delivers a 50% reduction in noise footprint than previous generation aircraft.
The development and manufacturing activities of the Airbus A220 Family are located in Mirabel, Quebec. Airbus currently provides work to more than 2,500 people at its A220 headquarters and manufacturing facilities and is expected to grow to over 3,000 people in the near future.
There are currently 6 A220s produced each month and 14 A220s are expected to be produced monthly as the programme is currently ramping up to reach its maximum production capacity in the middle of the decade.
The A220-300, which seats 137 passengers in a Business and Economy configuration, has accumulated nearly 120,000 flying hours for Air Canada since entering service. For additional facts on the A220 for Air Canada, please go here.
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 50 airports in Canada, 47 in the United States and 69 internationally. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is Canada’s premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world’s largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada’s passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.
12 July 2022
The A220 confirms its breakthrough on the small single-aisle market
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.
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!
Web News • 13 June 2022
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- 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”.
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.
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.”
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 Converts 30 Aircraft Options to Firm Order, Accelerating E190 Retirement
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.