Air Canada recently unveiled the their new Airbus A220-300 and basked in the bragging rights that goes along with it. Built in Mirabel, Quebec, the Bombardier-designed aircraft continues Air Canada’s fleet modernization. The A220’s state-of-the-art design and cabin was created for short haul comfort and to reduce the plane’s carbon footprint through a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption per seat.
“This is an historic moment for Air Canada as we welcome the Airbus A220 into our fleet. We are the first airline in Canada to operate this next-generation aircraft, which was designed by Bombardier in Mirabel, Quebec. Our customers will enjoy a level of comfort unrivalled on a single-aisle aircraft and the A220’s operating efficiencies promise meaningful environmental and cost benefits. The arrival of the first of our order of 45 A220s, with a list price value of US$3.8 billion at the time it was made, underscores our contribution to Canada’s aerospace industry and its economy,” said Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
“I am especially pleased today given Air Canada’s role in completing the 2016 order for the C Series, as it was then called, at a time when the future of this aircraft program was in doubt. We are very proud to have paved the way for orders from other major carriers,” said Mr. Rovinescu.
Passengers were welcomed aboard the A220-300 on January 16, 2020, for its maiden commercial flight between Montreal and Calgary. As more A220s enter the fleet, the aircraft will be initially deployed from Montreal and Toronto on existing Canadian and transborder routes such as to Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and New York – La Guardia.
Initial feedback from flyers has been very positive and launching the plane at this time will help Air Canada who, like many airlines, is still trying to deal with the fall out over the grounding of the Boeing 737-Max.
The first two new A220 routes for Air Canada begin May 4, 2020 with the launch of Montreal–Seattle and Toronto–San Jose, California service, the only non-stop service between these city pairs.
Air Canada’s first Airbus A220-300 was built at Airbus Canada’s (previously Bombardier) Mirabel facility employing close to 2,700 people. Each A220 includes parts from 30 Canadian suppliers.
Air Canada has firm orders for 45 A220s, with a total list price value of US$3.8 billion for the order at the time it was made, all of which are to be built at Mirabel.
Air Canada will be the first North American carrier to operate the larger A220-300 version of the aircraft, which has a range of 3,200 nautical miles.
The two-class cabin has 137 seats: 12 in a 2×2 configuration in Business Class and 125 in a 3×2 layout for Economy passengers. Customers will have more personal space thanks to the widest economy seats in the fleet at 19 inches, and the largest overhead stowage bins for an aircraft this size.
Additional features include larger windows and full-colour LED ambient and customizable mood lighting that contribute to reducing fatigue while travelling. The high ceilings, extra shoulder room and storage make this an unparalleled interior in the narrow-body segment.
Every seat on the A220 features a Panasonic in-flight entertainment system with content available in 15 languages and featuring more than 1,000 hours of high-quality entertainment, including content from Bell Media’s premium entertainment service, Crave, and Montreal-based multi-platform audio service, Stingray. The system also offers dynamic closed captioning for the deaf and is accessible to the visually impaired. The A220 will also have satellite-based, high speed Wi-Fi access.