Delta Air Lines takes delivery of its first Airbus A220

Airbus today welcomed Delta Air Lines as the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft.  On hand for the delivery ceremony at the aircraft’s assembly line in Mirabel were members of the A220 team as well as government officials and executives from Delta, Airbus, Bombardier and Investissement Quebec.

“It is with great pride that we take delivery of our first, state-of-the-art A220-100,” said Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian. “We have big plans for our A220 fleet and are confident that Delta customers and Delta people alike will be delighted with the in-flight experience provided by this thoroughly modern and efficient aircraft. We value our longstanding partnerships with Airbus and Bombardier and are grateful for the great design and manufacturing work done by the team here in Mirabel.”

(CNW Group/Airbus)

Delta’s A220 will enter service in early 2019, making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series. The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) welcomed Airbus as lead partner earlier this year, prompting the change of name to the Airbus A220.  Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.

Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus’ commercial aircraft business, said, “We at Airbus are dedicated to providing our customers the right products for a marketplace that needs modern, efficient and passenger-friendly aircraft – and the remarkable A220 certainly delivers. When a great airline like Delta puts a new aircraft into service as a platform for their outstanding passenger service, the entire industry takes note. The A220 team is gratified by the confidence that the Delta family has placed in this excellent, Canadian-born aircraft.”

The A220-100 delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency. It brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.

With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

As of the end of September, Delta was operating a fleet of 235 Airbus aircraft, including 182 A320 Family members, as well as 42 A330s and 11 A350 XWB, or eXtra Wide Body aircraft. The airline has more than 275 additional Airbus aircraft on order. Next year, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to operate the new Airbus A330neo.

Delta issued this statement:

It’s official: Delta Air Lines’ fleet now features the state-of-the-art and experience-rich Airbus A220-100, slated to debut on scheduled flights in January.

At a ceremony in Mirabel, Quebec earlier today, Delta became the first North American operator of the A220, continuing its effort to transform the travel experience for Delta customers.

“The innovation, creativity and remarkable engineering skills that went into the design and production of this aircraft is simply breathtaking,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian to an audience of Delta, Airbus and Bombardier employees gathered in Mirabel. “The A220 will serve as the cornerstone of our future domestic growth.”

Delta’s A220 is the latest investment in a fleet modernization program that aims to replace 20 percent of older, less-efficient aircraft by 2020. The A220 will bring an elevated customer experience to top business routes with features that customers will look forward to every time they fly.

“We at Airbus are dedicated to providing the right products for a marketplace that needs modern, efficient and customer-friendly aircraft — and the remarkable A220 certainly delivers,” said Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus’s commercial aircraft business. “When a great airline like Delta puts a new aircraft into service, the entire industry takes note. The A220 team is gratified by the confidence that the Delta family has placed in this aircraft.”

In addition to a modern interior with a spacious, widebody feel, Delta’s A220 will feature best-in-class fuel performance. Powered by Pratt & Whitney’s latest geared turbofan PW1500G engine, the A220 takes advantage of advanced technology and composite materials designed to deliver an expected 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over older, similar-sized aircraft when it enters service with Delta.

Inaugural A220 flights are set to depart on Jan. 31 from Delta’s hub at New York’s LaGuardia Airport to its growing operation at Boston Logan International, and from LaGuardia to top business destination Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Delta’s first A220 rolled out of the paint shop in its signature Delta colors and took its first test flight earlier this month. Today, the aircraft will fly from Mirabel to Delta’s hometown of Atlanta, where Delta employees will carry out additional induction work and flight crew training on the A220 in the months ahead to finalize readiness for its first customer flight.

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