Airbus would be close to announcing two more customers for its A220 jet – former Bombardier C Series. Airlines Ethiopian and Interjet (Mexico) are expected to close deals to receive the smaller aircraft capacity A220-100 soon.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told Bloomberg that the company should close deals with Airbus by the end of the year. The exact number of planes is still unknown, but should be between 10 and 20 jets.
With the A220, the African airline is expected to resume direct flights to cities in which it had decided to scrap due to the choice of the 737 MAX, which is much larger than Airbus.
But the problems suffered by the Boeing plane, including the fatal crash with an Ethiopian jet, would have prompted a change of strategy. The company still plans to operate the 737 MAX, but admits it should be one of the last to use it again.
Goodbye to the Superjet 100
Interjet has a situation little different. The airline is a traditional Airbus customer, but risked operating the Russian Superjet 100 jet. Manufactured by Sukhoi, best known for fighter jets, the aircraft is only used within Russia and some satellite countries.
Although it has a low price and an attractive operating cost, the SSJ100, as it is also called, has proven to be a low reliability aircraft. In addition, the manufacturer’s spare parts and support are missing. Therefore, Interjet has decided to get rid of the 22 Russian jets and can partially replace them with the A220.
According to the New York Times, there will be 12 units whose total business value could reach $ 1 billion.
The A220 has excelled in the battle for new customers looking for an efficient jet with a capacity of 100 to 150 seats. The A220-100 variant has a maximum capacity of 135 passengers or between 100 and 120 seats in two classes – its maximum range is 6,300 km.
Its main rival, Embraer’s E2 family, has so far racked up few orders despite the previous generation’s history that has dominated the market for several years.