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.
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.
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.
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.
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.