MIAMI — Air Canada’s first Airbus A220 rolled out of the paint shop at Bombardier’s Mirabel facility. The plane is expected to be delivered to the Canadian flag carrier in December.
The brand-new aircraft will now move to pre-flight operations before taking off for its maiden flight later during this fall.
Air Canada placed an order for 75 A220s in February 2016. The airline signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Bombardier for the purchase of up to 75 CSeries CS300 (now A220-300).
The deal contemplated 45 firm orders plus 30 options, including conversion rights to the A220-100 variant. Based on the list price, the order was valued at approximately US$3.8 billion in 2016.
Along with an earlier order for 61 Boeing 737 MAX narrowbodies, the A220 purchase was meant to complete Air Canada’s narrowbody fleet renewal plans for the foreseeable future.
At the time of signing the order for the A220, Bombardier had been through a 15-month order drought for the CSeries.
Air Canada had outlined the retirement of 45 Embraer E190s from its fleet as the new A220s joined in.
Although it’s not the first airline in North America to operate the Airbus A220—as Delta Air Lines became the launch operator in the USA with the A220-100—Air Canada will be the inaugural operator of the larger variant of the type, the A220-300
The aircraft is expected to launch on the newly established Montreal (YUL)-Seattle (SEA) link, timetabled to begin on May 4, 2020.
Air Canada’s A220 will also be deployed on domestic routes from the operating bases at Montreal and Toronto to cities such as Winnipeg, Ottawa, Calgary and across the border to New York.
A220 Cabin Enhancements
Air Canada will offer its customers 137 seats inside its brand-new planes, featuring 12 business class seats in a 2-2 configuration, as well as 125 seats in the economy section laid out in the typical 2-3 configuration that the A220 has to offer.
Each seat will have a myriad of features not usually seen on regional aircraft. The width of each seat will the best out of the entire Air Canada range of economy cabins.
Passengers will also have access to over 1,000 hours of entertainment in fifteen languages, thanks to the Panasonic ex1 inflight entertainment system.
Any passenger who finds itself caught short with power will be able to charge their devices on board with AC Power, USB-A and USB-C sockets installed at every seat.
Air Canada is clearly excited about the home-designed and built pocket rocket entering the fleet, bringing new destinations for Canadian travelers and revolutionizing the short-haul traveler experience.
It is a welcome refresh and upgrades for anyone traveling across North America and Canada.