Airbus A220 gains greater capability with ETOPS 180 approval
The Airbus A220 Family, previously known as the Bombardier CSeries, has received ETOPS 180 approval from Canadian authorities, allowing the aircraft to fly three hours away from an alternate airport should one of the Pratt and Whitney Geared Turbofan engines fail.
With the ability to fly over the water, airlines now have greater options available with the jet, as seen in the infographic below:
Florent Massou, Head of Airbus’ A220 program reflected on the achievement in the following statement:
“The A220 ETOPS milestone adds to the numerous performance capabilities which the unbeatable A220 Family already offers.”
The statement was later joined by the Head of Engineering and Customer Support for the A220, Rob Dewar, who said:
“Being the only in-production aircraft in its class capable of performing both steep approach and long-range operations, the A220 is definitely unlocking new route opportunities for airlines.”
Air Canada is already in the process of studying new routes for the aircraft, which they expect to receive the first example this year, with operations starting early 2020. With 45 A220-300s on order, the airline plans to not only fly them on existing routes to replace older aircraft, but to expand.
Some of the routes being analysed include:
- Montreal – Seattle
- Vancouver – Washington
- Halifax – Vancouver
- Toronto – Monterrey
During a media conference at the Airbus/Bombardier facilities in Mirabel, various figures about the aircraft were unveiled, including some specifics about its performance within airlines and its maintenance scheme, which highlights the lack of daily checks and the 135+ A Checks which reportedly only took three hours or less to complete.
With Airbus predicting 7000+ aircraft in the A220-sized market to be needed over the next 20 years, plans are already in place to expand the operation. Construction of the new A220 assembly line in Mobile, Alabama has already commenced and will support a production rate of four aircraft per month. Additionally, cleaning out and optimizing existing facilities in Mirabel will achieve a production rate of 10 monthly by mid 2020.
Using the development lessons and achievements from the A350 program, Airbus aims to support the A220 and bring down the backlog, allowing for its world-wide customer campaign to grow. Suppliers from all over the world will be tasked with not only supporting large production of common aircraft such as the A320 and 737, but also Airbus’ demanding A220 program.
You can read more about the A220 in the following articles: