MIAMI – Airbus SE announced it is restricting the production of the A220 at its facility in Mirabel, Québec. It will only roll three aircraft off the final assembly line per month. Additionally, only one aircraft will roll out per month at Airbus’ other facility in Mobile, Alabama.
The company initially wanted to increase A220 production at both locations. It was aiming to output 10 aircraft per month at Mirabel and 4 per month at Mobile. However, those plans have been put on hold as airlines are continuing to suffer from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for new commercial aircraft has dropped drastically over the past few months.
Air Canada (AC) recently gave Airbus a blow after canceling 12 out of its 45 orders for the A220. The airline currently has 11 of them in service. It will also defer the deliveries of its 18 remaining aircraft to 2022.
A220 Still Proves Successful
Despite the current situation, the A220 is still proving to be an essential asset to the airlines operating it. While SWISS was the A220-100 launch operator in July 2016, Air Baltic (BT), the A220-300’s launch operator in December 2016, will become the first airline to have an all-A220 fleet. Nearly 100% of all delivered A220 returned to service following mass canceled flights.
“The A220 is well placed because it offers low operating costs, a flexible platform for long and short missions, and is building on a good market basis,” says Antonio Da Costa, Vice President of Single-Aisle Marketing at Airbus. “In a pandemic airlines go for the most efficient, lowest cost. This was the aircraft of choice, it was flying around most of the time.”
Airbus is looking to generate more demand for the A220 by promoting its ability to lower costs and capacity. “We can’t say we’re in a seller’s market, but we do see good prospects,” Da Costa adds.
Featured image; Airbus A220-300. Photo: Steve Lynes via Wikimedia