A220 wins 180 ETOPS

Jan. 14, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus announced today that its A220 received certification for 180- minute ETOPS from the Canadian regulatory authorities.*

The announcement came at the first Airbus North American Tour, a three-day event that kicked off at the Montreal, Canada, Mirabel Airport facilities created by Bombardier.

Bombardier, of course, created the C Series, which is now the A220.

Operational capabilities

The ETOPs certification allows the A220 to fully take advantage of its range capabilities, which are more than 3,000nm or up to 7 ½ hours.

Five operators have received 57 CS100s/A220-100s, CS300s/A220-300s that have flown more than 120,000 flight hours, said Rob Dewar, Head of A220 Engineering & Customer Support. The aircraft have flown up to 18 hours per day and up to 13 legs a day.

Dewar said there are 170 routes to 130 destinations.

Lowering costs

Florent Massou, Head of the A220 program, said that the supply chain is part of the learning curve improvements, which will lower costs. Assembly line learning curve cost reductions already are being achieved as deliveries double.

But major cost reductions are still necessary, said Philippe Balducci, CEO of the A220 Partnership.

“We need to improve the quality of the suppliers to reduce costs” as well, he said.

“We need to bring the unit cost down,” he said. “This is quite a challenge, internally and with our suppliers. All this investment in this great aircraft is becoming credible in the market,” which he believes will aid in bringing suppliers into a cost reduction effort. “We are looking at double digit cost reduction.”

Balducchi said Airbus now “has a very good understanding of the costs,” but would not provide specifics.

Learning from Bombardier

Dewar said the A220 customer response center and health monitoring systems are more advanced than Airbus, which can be leveraged by the larger company.

There are also elements of Airbus that this former Bombardier operation can leverage from Airbus.

Market Share

Dewar said the market share split is 80% -300s and 20% for the -100s. The A220 currently has two-thirds of the market share in the 100-150 seat segment.

*Airbus’ Dewar got a little ahead of himself. Although he announced US and European authorities also approved ETOPS, he later clarified the US only had approved the engine ETOPS while the airframe ETOPS is still under review. Europe’s EASA has yet to grant ETOPS approval.

13 Comments on “A220 wins 180 ETOPS

  1. When Dewar says “They have 2/3’s of the market share,” I presume he is talking about outstanding orders for the 100-150 market segment. Also, with a 180 minute ETOPs, I presume that could mean trans-Atlantic flights if an airline could make that a profitable run. Like they say, if this plane continues to perform as advertised, it could be a game-changer. I also see, Swiss Airlines completed their first C-Check recently. I didn’t hear anything negative from that.

  2. Its good to see a good aircraft succeeding instead of getting wiped out due to the inability of BBD to support it properly. Really good design but too small a company.

    Trans Atlantic is likely only doable if you run fewer pax. Ranges are always reduces by weather, diversions and reserves.

    The 180 ETOPs may allow flexibility, possibly someone like Iclandair could use it as they are in between.

    Big new is its selling better all the time and they have a major upside in cost reductions.

  3. @TransWorld:
    “The 180 ETOPs may allow flexibility”
    Practical & realistic examples where ETOPs will become handy for the route networks fm the hubs of existing and upcoming 220 operators:
    a) U.S. W.coast to Hawaii – require @ least ETOPS180
    b) ICN/PUS(Korea) to GUM/SPN – ETOPS120 is sufficient
    c) BOS-DUB – ETOPS120 is sufficient

    • I don’t see anyone flying those routs with anything less than a 737 or A320 series.

      • From a Glesga perspective the AB 220-300 looks a very interesting proposition to open up the eastern seaboard all the way in to Detroit.

        Hopefully experience wrings out a bit more range — 90/100 NM has been mentioned.

        2800 NM TA Trip costs would be interesting.

        A320 vs B737 vs A321 vs A220

        • The A220-100 is weight limited on fuel. Given the commonality with the -300 this could probably be changed via certification work. Based on Bombardier weight/range charts a A220-100 with full tanks could fly about 3500-3700nm with the nominal 128pax two class configuration.

  4. Scott, has Rob Dewar switched form Bombardier to Airbus? Or is that just a “typo”?

    Just curious about how this deal affects people. I worked at Bombardier years ago during the RJ days but have been living in Germany for awhile now. I also have a friend from Airbus who is now in Mirabel working on the supply chain.

    • Rob became Airbus July 1 upon effectiveness of the acquisition by Airbus of the CSALP interest.

  5. About learning from Bombardier, does anyone know if the deals Bombardier made with Comac (C919 program commonalities) and UAC (MC21 joint customer support) are off since the deal with Airbus?

    I’d assume Airbus would not want to help Comac with advanced technology or technical information, nor make the business case of the MC21 for non Russian (and client states) customers better by boosting confidence in customer support (one of the major issues for UAC).

    Back to A220 ETOPS 180 topic, would any airline consider Boston or NY to Portugal with a narrow body?
    Lisbon (LIS) or Porto (OPO) to NY should be within range.

    • If the aircraft can do Portugal NY, I guess that this will prompt someone to assess the market. I’m presuming that this has been done before for every aircraft capable of flying the route, and if it’s not happened then the market was too small. Now here’s a lovely small plane with quite long legs and very good efficiency, must surely be time to assess that potential.

  6. An A220-300ER could also be a useful biz jet if the range could be approx Paris- Chicago with full payload.

    • You mean around 3600 nm? I think that’s currently around the max range of the A220 if you assume max fuel and a lot less passengers, luggage and seats.

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