Airbus has started making A220s in Mobile, Alabama as the Bombardier-developed former CSeries airliner gains traction in orders and popularity with passengers and crews. The Mobile plant will build A220s destined for the U.S. market, which puts to rest any possibility that the U.S. government could initiate trade action against the sale of the aircraft. Delta is the only U.S. airline flying the A220 but Jet Blue and a startup called Moxy have ordered 60 each. Air Canada will also start getting A220s later this year. It’s believed the design will be a strong option for North American carriers updating their regional and domestic route fleets but serving the hub and spoke isn’t the fate of all A220s.
Air France/KLM has ordered 60 Airbus A220-300s, the largest model of the former CSeries aircraft and immediately started musing about a larger version of the aircraft. That could be a sign that the major airlines want an alternative to the A320 and Boeing 737 series and not just for hopping around the continent. The A220 is capable of crossing the Atlantic on many of the most productive routes and could be a low-cost alternative to boost those numbers especially with changes coming to air navigation services over the Atlantic. Much greater density will be permitted when Aireon’s satellite-based tracking system is in full operation and that means more flights with smaller aircraft becomes possible.