Airbus A220 picks up another new airline customer
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The Airbus A220 has become a popular choice for travelers and now airlines seem to be slowly coming around on the jet.
Tiny carrier Air Austral became the latest to order the A220, announcing Monday that it had placed a firm order for three A220-300s. Airbus says the deal makes Air Austral the first airline in the Indian Ocean region to order A220s.
Air Austral, which once had plans to order an 840-seat Airbus A380 in all-coach layout, is based in the French island territory of Réunion that sits off the coast of Madagascar.
The carrier files from Réunion to Indian Ocean destinations that include India, Madagascar, the Seychelles and South Africa, among others. It also flies long-haul routes, including flights to Paris.
Air Austral’s fleet consists of two Boeing 787s, three Boeing 777-300s, two Boeing 737-800s and one ATR 72-500.
The airline will use the A220s to eventually phase out its two Boeing 737-800 jets that seat 162 passengers and its one 64-seat ATR 72-500 turboprop.
“The economic and operational performance of the A220 opens new possibilities for the development of our regional network from our main base — Réunion Island — in an efficient and rational way,” Air Austral CEO Marie-Joseph Malé said in a statement. “The 132-seat capacity module, which is more flexible, will allow us to increase our frequencies while offering more comfort to our customers and crews.”
Christopher Buckley, executive vice president/commercial at Airbus, called it “a great honor that Air Austral will be the first A220 operator in the region.”
However small Air Austral’s order, it’s a win for the A220 program.
The A220 was initially known as the CSeries when it was launched under Bombardier, but delays, cost overruns and slow sales nearly sank the jet.
The aircraft received a lifeline in April 2016, when Delta Air Lines announced a large A220 order. Since then, Airbus bought a majority stake in the CSeries line and rebranded the plane as the A220.
Sales for the jet have picked up and in the U.S., notable recent orders have come from JetBlue – which will use the A220 to phase out its E190s – and from Moxy, the start-up budget airline planned by David Neelman, JetBlue’s founder and a serial airline entrepreneur.
All told, Airbus now has received more than 500 orders for the A220.
The plane has won high marks from passengers for comfort. There are fewer middle seats — the cabin is arranged in a 2-3 layout in economy — and windows are bigger than in regional jets that the A220 is replacing.
At Delta the A220 is picking up a number of routes previously flown by smaller regional jets – meaning that customers who have endured cramped cabins are now in the more spacious A220.
Featured image courtesy of Airbus
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees