MIAMI — The Airbus A220 has received the 180-minute ETOPS certification from Transport Canada. Airbus claims that both FAA and EASA certifications are still pending with no timeline given.
The former Bombardier CSeries has officially become the first commercial plane to obtain ETOPS certification for an airplane built in Canada.
Up to date, Airbus has scored orders for over 537 A220s, including the -100 and -300 variants.
“This A220 ETOPS milestone adds to the numerous performance capabilities which the unbeatable A220 family already offers,” said Florent Massou, Head of the Airbus A220 Program.
Airbus advertises that with this certification, the plane can now fly on routes from Honolulu to Los Angeles, from New York to London, from Seoul to Darwin, from Auckland to Papeete, and from Mumbai to Antananarivo.
The aircraft’s range, at the moment, is 3,200nm.
“Being the only in-production aircraft in its class capable of performing both steep approach and long-range operations, the A220 is definitely unlocking new route opportunities for airlines,” added Rob Dewar, Head of Engineering and Customer Support of the A220 Program.
The aircraft was conceived as an alternative to larger narrowbody aircraft that would perform unprofittable transatlantic flights.
The Canadian planemaker launched proving runs between America and Europe
London City Proving Runs
Back in March 2017, Bombardier carried out eight flights intended to demonstrate the capabilities of the CS100 (now A220-100) for operations to and from London City Airport (LCY), including the steep approach procedure and short runway performance that’s required for this operation.
Located in downtown London with many large buildings nearby, aircraft are forced to approach at a steep 5.5% instead of the regular 3%.
“The aircraft smoothly performed all eight take-offs and landings during a two-day period, as planned,” said Rob Dewar, former VP of the CSeries program at Bombardier, at the time of these flights.
“The aircraft is meeting all performance expectations and clearly demonstrates that it is the best performing and most efficient aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat class,” he said.
The plane then performed flights between New York and LCY, certifying that it could operate the Transatlantic journey with ease.
In August that year, Swiss launched flights to LCY from its base in Zurich.
Flight LX466 was the first commercial CSeries flight to LCY since Bombardier completed flight tests to prove to the EASA that the plane could handle the steep approach into the airport and short runway for takeoff.
With the ETOPS certification granted by all Canadian,
Currently, airBaltic operates the world’s longest A220 route, from Riga to Abu Dhabi—a seven-hour journey that does not require ETOPS certification.
But with Delta and JetBlue operating the plane out of New York, these carriers might venture into long overwater routes for the plane, which is saving as much as 20%
Delta is expected to launch the plane on January 31 from New York-LaGuardia to Boston and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Currently, the A220 program has received Category III Autoland Certification, ETOPS 120/180 approval, and Durability and Damage Tolerance Testing certification at 180,000 cycles.
This year, the manufacturer expects to certify the plane to carry up to 149 passengers in a single-class configuration.
In the meantime, Airbus claims that the plane is enjoying a 99% dispatch reliability.