LONDON – This week saw Air Canada take delivery of its first A220-300. Air Canada are the North American launch customer for the A220-300, the largest A220 variant.

Air Canada has ordered 45 with 30 options. Its first A220-300 will start commercial flights in January 2020.

Air Canada’s A220s will accommodate 137 passengers in a two-class configuration, 12 in Business Class and 125 in Economy Class. Each seat will also feature a Panasonic IFE screen, as well as an AC Power Adapter, USB-C, and USB-C sockets.

Air Canada is also the first Canadian airline to take delivery of the Canadian designed and built A220.

Air Canada plans to use the A220 to replace their entire fleet of Embraer E190s. Air Canada at one point had a 45 strong fleet of Embraer E190s, now just 14 remain.

Air Canada plans to use the A220 to launch the newly established Montreal (YUL)-Seattle (SEA) route from May 4, 2020. The airline also expects to use the A220-300 on the Toronto to San Jose route, starting in Spring 2020.

Air Canada’s A220s will also be deployed on domestic routes from the operating bases in Montreal and Toronto to cities such as Winnipeg, Ottawa, Calgary and across the border to New York.

Michael Rousseau, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Air Canada said that “This is a highly anticipated moment for Air Canada as we welcome this game-changing aircraft into our fleet, the next step in our fleet modernization.”

“It will not only allow us to transport our customers in comfort but also further our environmental commitment with its improved efficiency. The A220 will enable Air Canada to strengthen our position on transborder and transcontinental markets and will be key to our continued growth”.

He added, Our customers will benefit from the A220’s innovative design features, including a choice of two spacious and comfortable cabins, larger overhead bins, bigger windows and a quieter experience in flight.”

Philippe Balducchi, CEO, Airbus Canada Limited Partnership and Head of Country, Canada for Airbus commented on this delivery as a historical moment for the company.

“In just a few weeks, Canadians will be able to fly onboard this Canadian-designed and assembled aircraft for the first time in Air Canada’s distinctive and emblematic Maple Leaf livery that symbolizes Canada around the world.”

This has been another A220 program milestone for Airbus, who took over the program from Bombardier in 2018.

Earlier this month Airbus delivered the 100th built A220 to Air Baltic, who was the global launch customer for the A220-300 in December 2016.