At the Airbus Innovation Day, the company announced a change to the Airbus A220 family, with the type’s range being extended by 450nm.
The extra 450nm version will be offered from the second half of 2020. This is offered in tandem with an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW).
This set to increase by 2,268 kg (2.3 metric tonnes).
The new MTOW will increase the respective maximum range capabilities to 3,350nm for the A220-300 and 3,400nm for the A220-100, some 450nm more than currently advertised.
According to Airbus, this performance increase is achieved by taking credit of existing structures and systems margins as well as existing fuel volume capacity.
As for what 450 miles can do – it can open up a few extra routes, bringing new cities into range as shown by this Airbus graphic.
The A220 is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan engines, with over 530 aircraft on order
Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus said
“In true Airbus tradition we improve our products constantly,” said “This new MTOW will allow operators to reach markets which today cannot be served by other small single-aisle aircraft types.”
“Since its entry-into-service close to three years ago, the A220 aircraft has already proven that it is meeting or beating its initial performance targets, bringing more flexibility and revenue potential to customers,” said Rob Dewar, Head of Engineering & Customer Support for the A220. “Today, Airbus is reinforcing its confidence in the A220 platform and further enhancing its capabilities to meet upcoming market requirements.”
Whilst 450 nautical miles may not sound a lot – it opens up a few extra possibilities for carriers considering the A220. With capacity rated between 100 to 141 passengers aboard (with a suggested 116 in the A220-100 and A220-300 holding 141) and range bonuses, it could be a welcome sign for carriers who need a smaller aircraft on routes that are thinner and would struggle to support an A320 family aircraft.
As some airlines start to shift away from hub-and-spoke traffic to point-to-point model, the position the A220 is in could be a tempting prospect to customers.
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