- The Airbus A220 is an advanced, efficient and comfortable 109-seat airliner that entered service with Delta in February 2019 in the United States.
- The aircraft, which started out as the Bombardier C-Series, is said to close the market gap between medium-sized regional jets and narrow body jets for workhorses like the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. It can also be used to replace larger regional jets.
- I flew a few times on the A220, on a short flight from Logan Airport in Boston to LaGuardia Airport in New York, in the first-class cabin thanks to frequent flyer upgrades.
- I was impressed with almost every aspect of the aircraft and found it a pleasant improvement over the regional jets that normally operate this flight. Read on to learn more about what jet flying is like.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
The Airbus A220 was one of the most controversial and highly anticipated new aircraft that have recently been launched.
The 100-seat jet was originally designed by the Canadian aircraft and train manufacturer Bombardier and sold as a C-series jet. In 2016, Delta ordered several C-series aircraft to replace some of its aging regional jets.
In 2017, American manufacturer Boeing filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. He claimed Bombardier was selling the jets at an unusually low price to undercut Boeing and used Canadian government subsidies to make up for the loss.
The two agencies agreed and imposed a massive penalty on the jets – almost 300% overall – that would have made the C-Series prohibitively expensive and would have practically kept it out of the US market. Boeing claimed that the C-series was a direct competitor for the smaller versions of its 737; However, the two variants of the C series only offer space for 110 to 130 passengers, while the smaller Boeing 737 NG aircraft accommodate 125 to 150 passengers.
But less than a month later, Bombardier found a way around the tariff and sold 50.01% of the C-Series program to the French Airbus – Boeing's main competitor in the large commercial aircraft market – without any prior investment. This transfer of the majority stake made the ITC decision on subsidies controversial.
In summer 2018, the Bombardier C-series was officially renamed Airbus A220.
While the A220 – as the C-series – was put into service at Swiss Air Lines in 2016, it only flew with Delta, the US launch customer, in the United States in 2019.
Business Insider reviewed the very first US A220 flight in February this year and a longer flight some time later.
However, on some recent trips between New York and Boston (before the COVID 19 pandemic), I had the opportunity to fly on the A220 to see how the plane was doing and whether it was still impressive. Thanks to my Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer status, I also received a free upgrade to first class. (I flew a lot last year.)
While first class may be exaggerated for the one-hour flight between Boston and New York, the plane was immediately impressive – and the comfortable first-class seat was obviously a nice reward.
This is what the A220 looks like today.