Airbus admits launching the A220-500

Stretched variant of the single-aisle jet could carry at least 170 passengers. Manufacturer’s CEO said it will choose “the timing carefully”

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury was again faced with questions about the A220-500, a supposedly higher-capacity variant of the single-aisle jet.

During the meeting with investors at Capital Markets Day, held this Friday, Faury acknowledged that the stretched A220 makes perfect sense, “but we don’t want to be right too early”.

The executive had already answered a similar question earlier this year, during the presentation of the 2021 results. “The A220-500 would be a very good version of the A220, but we are not there. We’re not in the altitude cruise,” he explained in February.

Airlines such as Air France and Korean Air, however, have already shown their intention to have a higher capacity A220.

What the A220-500 might look like

Capacity for about 170 passengers

So far there are no confirmed technical details, but it is believed that the A220-500 will be able to carry around 170 passengers with a small increase in fuselage length.

The range could be at least 6,000 km, which would put the aircraft at a clear advantage over models such as the Boeing 737 MAX 7 and the A319neo itself.

Airbus, however, has not yet reached the break-even point of the A220 program, acquired from Bombardier years ago when it was called the C Series.

This is expected to occur in the middle of the decade once improvements to its production process are completed.

Until August, the manufacturer had 551 orders for the A220 in its backlog, 223 of which were in operation.


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