Airbus delivers its first U.S.-assembled A220 from Mobile, Alabama
The first of Airbus’ A220 aircraft assembled in the United States has just been delivered to Delta Air Lines, the world's largest A220 customer.
This marks a significant milestone for Airbus, which purchased majority ownership of the A220 program, formerly known as CSeries, from the Canada-based Bombardier in 2018.
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Airbus' Mobile, Alabama plant was initially viewed as a workaround to avoid potential import tariffs on aircraft built at Bombardier’s factory in Quebec. However, the tariffs never materialized and Airbus still moved forward with producing the jet in the U.S., just a few feet from Airbus' A320 family final assembly line.
“The delivery of the first U.S.-built A220-300 is a historic moment that highlights Airbus’ growing industrial footprint in North America and makes us all extremely proud,” said C. Jeffrey Knittel, Chairman & CEO Airbus Americas, Inc. “We look forward to seeing passengers delighted by the experience of travelling on board this brand new A220-300 proudly built in Mobile, Alabama.”
Related: Airbus rolls out first A220 assembled in Mobile
The A220-300, registered N302DU, also happens to be the first stretched variant for Delta, which has only flown the smaller -100 thus far. The plane is configured with 12 first class, 30 extra-legroom economy and 88 economy seats. As with the -100, passengers will enjoy personal seatback entertainment screens, inflight WiFi and in-seat power outlets.
Related: Why I’m a fan of Delta’s Airbus A220
While no inaugural flight has been formally announced yet, the aircraft is expected to begin commercial operations in mid-November. To start, the aircraft will be based in Salt Lake City (SLC), operating daily flights to Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), followed by Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Sacramento International Airport (SMF).
Delta has made it clear that it's committed to the Airbus A220 program. In addition to the 31 A220-100s it already has in its fleet, the Atlanta-based carrier still has 14 A220-100s and 49 A220-300s on order. It's also the only aircraft type that the carrier has not put any in storage.
The next A220-300 to roll out of the Mobile assembly line is due for delivery to JetBlue in December. JetBlue will be only the second airline in the U.S. to fly the A220.
Related: Check out JetBlue’s first Airbus A220, due to begin carrying flyers early next year