The Airbus A220 seems to be the darling of the airline world at the moment. Several major carriers have announced that they will be adding new A220 models to their fleets in 2019. Delta plans to debut its new Airbus A220 by the end of this month.
JetBlue, Air Canada and an up-and-coming airline titled Moxy have all placed orders for A220 planes. What is it about this aircraft that makes airlines so excited? The biggest reason for the love affair between the A220 and airlines is fuel efficiency. Most of the carriers that are bringing in A220s are using them to replace smaller regional jets that are used for domestic routes.
JetBlue has already revealed that its new A220-300s will burn 40 percent less fuel than the planes they are replacing. However, fuel efficiency isn’t the only reason why airlines are loving the A220. These planes offer greater range than the planes they’re replacing. For instance, JetBlue has made it known that the new A220s it has ordered will potentially allow the airline to schedule new transcontinental flights going forward.
What can passengers expect when they step foot inside the new A220 planes that seem to be taking over the airline world? Delta’s new A220-200 plane will feature a total of 109 seats. We know that 12 of those seats will be situated in first class. Another 15 will be located in Delta’s extra-legroom Comfort+ section. The rest of the 82 seats on the plane will be economy seats.
One piece of good news is that the seats in Delta’s new A220 planes will be the widest in the airline’s fleet. Of course, that’s not saying much. The new seats will provide almost 19 inches of space across. JetBlue hasn’t yet revealed how it plans to configure the interior of its new A220. However, Airbus says that its A220-300 model is designed to carry between 130 and 160 passengers. We do know that 60 planes have been ordered so far. JetBlue has also secured an option to order 60 additional planes starting in 2025.
It’s obvious that airlines in the United States had intended to make 2019 the year of the A220. However, recent happenings could create some big delays. There are reports that the current government shutdown could actually cause the debut of Delta’s planes to be delayed. Delta is saying that it is very unlikely that its new plane will make its debut out of LaGuardia this month like the airline had planned. That’s because Delta needs final certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before it can allow paying passengers to fly on the new planes.