Belfast Telegraph

Production of A220 jets started by Airbus in US

Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Airbus began manufacturing A220 aircraft in the United States yesterday, in a move which could soon double the number of jets produced by the European aviation giant.

The composite wings for the aircraft are exclusively designed and manufactured within Bombardier's up-for-sale operation in Northern Ireland. They are currently shipped to a final assembly line in Mirabel, Quebec.

Yesterday, Airbus began manufacturing on a brand new A220 production line in Mobile, Alabama. The company said it expects the facility will produce 40 to 50 A220 planes per year by the middle of the next decade. The first plane is destined for Delta Air Lines in the autumn of 2020.

Yesterday's milestone came three years on from Bombardier's sale of 75 C Series jets to Delta in a deal that triggered a high-profile spat with Boeing.

The US firm had accused the Canadian firm of selling at a massive discount.

The US Department of Commerce initially found in Boeing's favour, imposing huge 292% tariffs on imports of the planes.

But the US International Trade Commission eventually overturned the ruling in January 2018.

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The C series planes were later re-branded as the A220 when Airbus acquired a majority stake in the jet series in July 2018.

Belfast Telegraph