Belfast Telegraph

Airbus delivers latest jet partly made in Belfast

The delivery of the latest A220 to airBaltic
The delivery of the latest A220 to airBaltic
The outside of the jet, the wings of which are made in Belfast
The inside of the jet, the wings of which are made in Belfast
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Airbus has said there are now almost 100 A220 aircraft in service after another one took to the skies.

The European aerospace giant delivered the latest A220, the wings of which are made by Bombardier in Belfast, to airBaltic last week at a ceremony in Canada.

The aircraft started out as the C Series, a single-aisle commercial jet designed to rival similar efforts made by rivals.

The programme was sold to Airbus two years ago, although Bombardier staff continue to make the wings.

Earlier this year, Bombardier's operations in the city were sold as part of a deal with US company Spirit AeroSystems.

The latest A220 delivered to airBaltic features a new cabin layout with 149 seats and is the larger of two planes in the A220 family.

The first A220 was delivered three years ago to launch operator SWISS when the jet was still known as the C Series. AirBaltic was a launch operator for the A220-300 and has reordered it twice, making it the biggest European A220 customer with firm orders for 50.

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The longest flight operated by the A220 is a six and a half hour journey from airBaltic's Riga base to Abu Dhabi.

Airbus said: "In an extremely competitive market, the aircraft's unequalled fuel efficiency and excellent performance has been instrumental to airBaltic, which has an all-A220 fleet as the backbone of its new business plan.

"AirBaltic is operating its A220 fleet to various European and Russian destinations, as well as to the Middle East." The A220 has been praised for its fuel efficiency, lower emissions and reduced noise.

Nearly 100 are now in service with six operators, with a further 530 firm orders on the company's books.

Belfast Telegraph