Delta Air Lines’ first A220-100 has taken its maiden flight, heralding the start of several months of flight testing and assembly before the airline becomes the first in the USA to operate the airplane.
The A220-100 took off on its first flight from Mirabel Airport, Québec, on October 6, crewed by Airbus test pilots. During the successful two-hour and 53-minute flight, the crew checked the aircraft’s main systems and then landed back in Mirabel.
The A220, the airplane previously known as the CSeries, was originally developed by Canada’s Bombardier. Airbus purchased a 50.01% majority stake in the CSeries program in October 2017 and the two companies formed a joint venture – the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership.
The Delta Air Lines A220-100 is the first to be delivered under Airbus and Bombardier’s new partnership. The aircraft is scheduled to begin service in early 2019, when the airline will become the first in the USA to operate the aircraft.
Three other airlines are flying A220s: Swiss International Air Lines, airBaltic, and Korean Air. Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with 75 aircraft on order.
The A220-100 has a maximum capacity of 135 with a range of 3,100 nautical miles and it is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G. Airbus claims it offers 20% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous-generation aircraft.