MIAMI – This week, Airbus unveiled a new addition to its Toulouse showroom, a full-size A220 mock-up, and Airways was present at the event.

Christine De Gagné, Airbus Airline Marketing Director, presented on May 27 the new addition which has a particularity: it is not actually a mock-up but a real aircraft, namely the FTV1 – Flight Test Vehicle One used for testing purposes when the aircraft took to the skies for the first time in 2013.

The Airbus A220

The Airbus A220 is part of the Bombardier CSeries, a series of narrow-body aircraft manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace. The smaller model (CS100, currently known as A220-100), which seats 108 to 133 passengers, flew for the first time on September 16, 2013, received initial type certification from Transport Canada on December 18, 2015, and began service with Swiss Global Air Lines on July 15, 2016.

The longer variant (now known as A220-300), which seats 130 to 160 people, took to the air for the first time on February 27, 2015, gained first type certification on July 11, 2016, and began service with launch customer airBaltic on December 14, 2016.

The A220, in its two versions 100 and 300, is flown by nine airlines, Swiss (LX) being the first for the 100 series and Air Baltic (BT) for the 300 series. The other airlines are Delta (DL), the largest A220 operator, Air Canada (AC), Egyptair (MS), Air Tanzania (TC), JetBlue (B6), Korean (KE), and Air Manas (ZM).

An Airbus Enterprise

After Airbus bought 50.01% of the program through a joint venture, which was later renamed Airbus Canada Limited Partnership, the aircraft was relaunched as the A220 in July 2018. In August 2019, Airbus Mobile added a second final assembly line to its Mirabel factory, bringing the total number of final assembly lines to three.

As Bombardier abandoned the program in February 2020, Airbus boosted its participation to 75%, with the remaining 25% controlled by the provincial government’s Investissement Québec.

Featured image: Airbus Mock-up Centre. Photo: Airbus Media