On October 6, Airbus made the first flight with the Delta Air Lines A220-100 jet in Mirabel, Canada. According to the manufacturer, the inaugural flight of the jet, formerly called Bombardier CS100, lasted two hours and 53 minutes.
The flight took place only a few days after the aircraft left the paint shop. According to Airbus, the jet will continue to be tested and still need to have its interior mounted. Delta’s first A220 is scheduled to enter service from the beginning of 2019.
Delta’s order, which made a firm order for 75 aircraft in 2017, was the trigger for the crisis facing Bombardier in recent months in the United States. The country overtaxed the manufacturer’s products by as much as 300 percent as a way to protect Boeing, which complained of Canadian government subsidies to finance the production of aircraft, which were previously offered under the name CSeries.
This move prompted the creation of the joint venture between Bombardier and Airbus, which acquired majority control of the CSeries program in October 2017 and promised to build the aircraft at its factory in Alabama, USA, and thus free them from high taxes by creating more jobs in the country.
As a reflection of this action, Boeing and Embraer also began negotiations to create a new company in commercial aviation, with majority control of the American company. The definitive agreement between manufacturers should be announced in 2019.
Delta will be the first US company to operate the A220 and the fourth company in the world to receive the new Canadian jets. The jets developed by Bombardier and now under the command of Airbus already fly with the companies Swiss Air Lines, airBaltic and Korean Air.
The new A220 family already has a backlog of more than 400 aircraft. According to market research by Airbus, the segment in which the A220-100 and A220-300 jets operate from 100 to 150 seats will require at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.