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CSeries CS100 and CS300
YL-CSD Bombardier BD-500-1A100 CS300 BCS3 Airbus A220-300 A223 c n 55006 - BTI (31100301167).jpg
AirBaltic A220-300
Role Narrow-body jet airliner
National origin multinational
Manufacturer Airbus Canada Limited Partnership
Designer Bombardier Aerospace
First flight 16 September 2013[1]
Introduction 15 July 2016 with Swiss International Air Lines[2]
Status In service
Primary users Delta Air Lines
Swiss International Air Lines
Korean Air
Produced 2012–present
Number built 123 as of 30 September 2020[3]
Program cost US$ 7 billion[4]
Unit cost
100 series: US$ 81 m (ave. list price 2018)
300 series: US$ 91.5 m (ave. list price 2018)[5]

The Airbus A220 is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet airliners. The airliner was designed by Bombardier Aerospace and originally marketed as the Bombardier CSeries. Bombardier sold the CSeries airliner program to Airbus and it is now owned by Airbus Canada Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Airbus and the Quebec government's investment arm Investissement Québec.

The 108 to 133-seat A220-100 (originally named CS100) made its maiden flight on 16 September 2013, was awarded an initial type certification by Transport Canada on 18 December 2015, and entered service on 15 July 2016 with Swiss Global Air Lines. The 130- to 160-seat A220-300 (originally named CS300) first flew on 27 February 2015, received an initial type certification on 11 July 2016, and entered service with launch customer airBaltic on 14 December 2016. Early operators recorded better-than-expected fuel burn and dispatch reliability, as well as positive feedback from passengers and crew.

Airbus acquired a 50.01% majority stake in the CSeries program in October 2017, with the deal closing in July 2018. As part of the deal, Bombardier retained a 31% stake in the aircraft and Investissement Québec 19%.[6] In August 2019, Airbus opened a second assembly line for the aircraft at its Mobile, Alabama factory.[7] In February 2020, Bombardier exited the programme; Airbus increased its share to 75% while Investissement Québec held the 25% balance.[8]



BRJ-X concept
BRJ-X concept

When Fokker, which produced the Fokker 100 100-seat short-haul aircraft, was in difficulty, discussions began with Bombardier on 5 February 1996. After evaluating Fokker's opportunities and challenges, Bombardier announced an end to the acquisition process on 27 February.[9] On 15 March, Fokker was declared bankrupt.

On 8 September 1998, Bombardier launched the BRJ-X, or "Bombardier Regional Jet eXpansion", a larger regional jet than the Canadair Regional Jet due to enter service in 2003. Instead of 2–2 seating, the BRJ-X was to have a wider fuselage with 2–3 seating for 85 to 110 passengers, and underwing engine pods.[10] It was abutting the smallest narrow-body jetliners, like the 2–3 DC-9/MD-80/Boeing 717 or the 3–3 A318 and 737-500/737-600. At the end of 2000, the project was shelved by Bombardier in favour of stretching the CRJ700 into the CRJ900.[11]

Meanwhile, Embraer launched its four-abreast, under-wing powered E-jets for 70 to 122 passengers at the Paris Air Show in June 1999, which made its maiden flight in February 2002 and was introduced in 2004. Airbus launched its 107–117 passengers A318 shrink on 21 April 1999,[10] which made its first flight in January 2002, as Boeing had the 737NG-600 first delivered in September 1998.

Feasibility study

2–3 seating on a Delta Air Lines aircraft
2–3 seating on a Delta Air Lines aircraft

Bombardier appointed Gary Scott on 8 March 2004 to evaluate the creation of a New Commercial Aircraft Program.[12] Bombardier launched a feasibility study for a five-seat abreast CSeries at Farnborough Airshow in July 2004 to investigate development of an aircraft to replace rival manufacturers' aging DC-9/MD-80, Fokker 100, Boeing 737 Classic and BAe-146 with 20% lower operating costs, and 15% lower than aircraft produced at the time. The smaller version should carry 110 to 115 passengers and the larger 130 to 135 passengers over 3,200 nautical miles.[13]

Bombardier's Board of Directors authorized marketing the aircraft on 15 March 2005, seeking firm commitments from potential customers, suppliers and government partners prior to program launch. The C110 was planned to weigh 133,200 lb (60,420 kg) at MTOW and have a length of 114.7 ft (35.0 m), while the C130 should be 125.3 ft (38.2 m) long and have a 146,000 lb (66,224 kg) MTOW. It would have 3-by-2 standard seating and 4-abreast business class, 7 ft (2.1 m) stand-up headroom, fly-by-wire and side stick controls. 20 percent of the aircraft weight would be in composite materials for the centre and rear fuselages, tail cone, empennage and wings. The first flight was planned for 2008, and its entry into service was planned for 2010.[14]

In May 2005, the CSeries development was evaluated at US$2.1 billion, shared with suppliers and partner governments for one-third each. The Government of Canada would invest US$262.5 million, the Government of Quebec US$87.5 million and the Government of the United Kingdom US$340 million (£180 million), repayable on a royalty basis per aircraft.[15] The UK contribution is part of an investment partnership for the location of the development of the wings, engine nacelles and composite empennage structures at the Belfast plant,[16] where Bombardier bought Short Brothers in 1989.

The cross section of the CSeries was designed to give enhanced seating comfort for passengers, with features like broader seats and armrests for the middle passenger and larger windows at every seat to give every passenger the physical and psychological advantages of ample natural light.[17]

On 31 January 2006, Bombardier announced that market conditions could not justify the launch of the program, and that the company would reorient CSeries project efforts, team and resources to regional jet and turboprop aircraft. A small team of employees were kept to develop the CSeries business plan and were further tasked to include other risk-sharing partners in the program.[18]

Program launch

PW1500G turbofan under the A220 wing
PW1500G turbofan under the A220 wing

On 31 January 2007, Bombardier announced that work on the aircraft would continue, with entry into service planned for 2013.[19] In November 2007, Bombardier selected the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan, now the PW1000G, already selected to power the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, to be the exclusive powerplant for the CSeries, rated at 23,000 lbf (100 kN).[20]

On 22 February 2008, the Board of Directors authorized Bombardier to offer formal sales proposals of the CSeries family to airline customers, on the strength of its 20% better fuel burn and up to 15% better cash operating costs compared to similarly sized aircraft produced at the time. This interested Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and ILFC.[21]

CSeries display model, presented during the 2008 Farnborough Airshow
CSeries display model, presented during the 2008 Farnborough Airshow

On 13 July 2008, in a press conference on the eve of the opening of the Farnborough Airshow, Bombardier Aerospace formally launched the CSeries, with a letter of interest from Lufthansa for 60 aircraft, including 30 options, at a US$46.7 million list price. The aircraft fuel efficiency would be 2 litres per 100 kilometres (120 mpg‑US) per passenger in a dense seating. The final assembly of the aircraft would be done at Mirabel, wings would be developed and manufactured at Belfast and the aft fuselage and cockpit would be manufactured in Saint-Laurent, Quebec.[22] The fuselage was to be built by China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC)'s affiliate Shenyang Aircraft Corporation.[23]

Bombardier estimated the market for the 100- to 149-seat market segment of the CSeries to be 6,300 units over 20 years, representing more than $250 billion revenue over the next 20 years; the company expects to capture up to half of this market.[24]

The new Pratt & Whitney engine should yield 12 percent better fuel economy than existing jets while being quieter, with further efficiency stemming from enhanced aerodynamics and lightweight materials.[25] Together, the engines and high use of composite materials,[23] like the wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 XWB contribute to the aforementioned 12–15% better cash operating costs.

By November 2009 and four years after its previous evaluation, the program grew to an estimated $3.5 billion value – nearly double the 2004 figure – shared with suppliers and governments.[26]

In 2010, Ghafari Associates was retained to develop the Montreal manufacturing site to accommodate CSeries production.[27]



Selected in July 2008, the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics incorporates 15 in (380 mm) displays, with comprehensive navigation, communications, surveillance, engine-indicating and crew-alerting system (EICAS), and aircraft maintenance systems.[28] In March 2009 Bombardier confirmed major suppliers: Alenia Aeronautica for the composite horizontal and vertical stabilisers, Fokker Elmo for the wiring and interconnection systems and Goodrich Corporation Actuation Systems: design and production of the flap and slat actuation systems.[29]

Nearly one year later (June 2009), 96% of billable materials had been allocated, with the company settling on various companies for remaining components and systems: Shenyang Aircraft Corporation for the centre fuselage; Zodiac Aerospace for the interiors; Parker Hannifin for the flight control, fuel and hydraulics systems; Liebherr Aerospace for the air management system; and United Technologies Corporation for the air data system, flap and slat actuation systems, and engine nacelles.[30]

The composite wings are manufactured and assembled at a purpose built factory at the Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services (BAES) site in Belfast, Northern Ireland.[31] Meanwhile, the aft fuselage and cockpit are built in Bombardier's Saint-Laurent Manufacturing Centre in Quebec, with final assembly occurring at Mirabel, Montreal, Quebec.[32]

While Bombardier itself makes the centre wing box and doors, still many other components are contracted-out, namely: Liebherr for the landing gear and pneumatics; UTC Aerospace for the electrical system and lighting; Goodrich for the nacelle; Meggitt for the wheels and brakes, Michelin the tires; Spirit for the pylons; Honeywell for the APU; and PPG supplies the windows.[33]


In March 2009, Bombardier redesignated the C110 and C130 as CS100 and CS300, respectively. The models were offered in standard- and extended-range (ER) variants; and additionally, an extra thrust (XT) variant of the CS300 was also offered.[34] Bombardier subsequently settled on a single variant, with extended range becoming the new standard.[35]

In January 2010, JP Morgan reported that Bombardier was considering a 150-seat version of the CSeries. Bombardier called the report speculative, noting that the CSeries development program was "in the joint definition phase where we will be able to add greater product definition and that includes the ability to make changes before the final design is frozen".[36]

At the Farnborough Airshow in July 2012, Bombardier started discussions with AirAsia about a proposed 160-seat configuration for the CS300 airliner.[37] Consequently, by November 2012, this configuration was included in the CS300 project, although AirAsia then rejected the proposal.[38]

In May 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bombardier was considering marketing a CS500 aircraft, being further stretched than the CS300, to compete with the standard 160- to 180-seat versions of the Boeing 737 and A320 airliners. However, development has not yet been committed.[39] The existing wing would be capable of supporting a stretched version.[40] In January 2019, Airbus hinted that a larger variant could be developed, owing to ramped-up production and market demand for the currently produced models.[41] An ACJ version of the A220 was also mentioned as a possibility.[42] However, in June 2019, Airbus indicated that it would not consider launching an A220-500 until it has solved its A220 productivity issues, and definitely not in the following 12 months.[43] Speculation about a stretched variant continued in November 2019, with Air France mentioning an A220-500 during an investor briefing on its modernisation strategy.[44]

Program schedule

In November 2009, the first flight of the CSeries was expected by 2012.[45] Months later in January 2010, the company announced that deliveries of the CS100 were planned to start in 2013, and CS300 deliveries were to follow a year later.[46]

In February 2012, the first CS100 delivery remained scheduled for the end of 2013.[47] Reflecting a change of pace in March 2012, Bombardier moved-up its target date for the first flight to the second half of 2012.[48] In June 2012, Bombardier reaffirmed the first flight should happen before the end of the year with subsequent entry into service remaining 2013.[49]

Deviating from the otherwise ahead-of-schedule timeline, Bombardier announced via conference call in November 2012 a delay of six months which would delay both the first flight to June 2013 and entry into service of the CS100 one year later. The company credited these delays to issues with unspecified suppliers.[50]

On 20 February 2013, the CSeries PW1500G variant of the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G was granted certification by Transport Canada.[51]

Flight testing

CSeries CS100 Flight Test Vehicle (FTV1) out of the factory in June 2013
CSeries CS100 Flight Test Vehicle (FTV1) out of the factory in June 2013

An extensive update on the CSeries program was presented on 7 March 2013; the first "flight test vehicle" (FTV) was displayed in an almost completed state, along with three other FTVs in various states of assembly: one such FTV confirmed the presence of the 160 seat "Extra Capacity" version of the CS300, featuring two sets of over wing emergency exits.[52] The electrical system of the first flight test aircraft was successfully powered up in March 2013, and tests on the static test airframe proceeded satisfactorily and on schedule.[53]

In June 2013, due to upgrades of the aircraft's software and final ground testing, Bombardier again shifted the timeline for the first flight into July 2013.[54] On 24 July 2013, due to a longer than expected system integration process, the first flight was delayed into "the coming weeks".[55] On 30 August 2013, Bombardier received the flight test permit from Transport Canada, granting permission to perform high speed taxi testing and flight testing.[1]

The first CS100 takeoff on 16 September 2013
The first CS100 takeoff on 16 September 2013

On 16 September 2013, the CS100 made its maiden flight from Mirabel Airport.[56][57] Over 14,000 data points were gathered on this first flight; and after some reconfigurations and software upgrades, the aircraft flew for the second time on 1 October 2013.[58] On 16 January 2014, the planned entry-into-service date was delayed again (by at least 12 months, into the second half of 2015), due to difficulties with certification flight testing. The CS300 was still scheduled to follow approximately six months after the CS100.[59]

On 29 May 2014, one of the four test aircraft suffered an uncontained engine failure. Consequently, the test program was suspended until an investigation of the incident could be completed.[60] The incident kept Bombardier from showcasing the CSeries at the week-long 2014 Farnborough Airshow, one of the most important events for the aerospace and defence industry.[61] In August 2014 and after slashing its workforce, Bombardier changed the management overseeing the still-grounded aircraft.[62]

Flight testing was resumed on 7 September 2014 after the engine problem had been isolated to a fault in the lubrication system[63] where a failure of a Teflon seal resulted in failure of the low pressure turbine, thus causing heat soaking of the oil feed tube to the number four bearing.[citation needed] Bombardier chairman Laurent Beaudoin stated that the CSeries was then expected to be in commercial service in 2016.[64]

Delays resulted in order cancellations, including from the Swedish lessor.[65]

On 20 February 2015, CSeries CS100 aircraft had completed over 1,000 flight test hours.[66]

The CS300 first flight on 27 February 2015
The CS300 first flight on 27 February 2015

Seven days later, the CS300 prototype took off for its maiden flight from Bombardier's facility at Montreal Mirabel International airport in Quebec.[67] Test flight results surpassed the company's guarantees for noise, economics and performance, meaning a longer range than advertised could be possible.[68]

The fifth CS100 first flew on 18 March 2015.[69] On 27 March 2015, Bombardier stated that Canadian certification for the CS100 should come in late 2015 with entry into service in 2016.[70] At the 2015 Paris Air Show, Bombardier released updated performance data, showing improvements with respect to the initial specifications.[71]

On 20 August 2015, Bombardier disclosed it had completed over 80% of the required certification tests for the CS100.[72] On 14 October 2015, the company had completed over 90% of required tests for the CS100. Accordingly, Bombardier announced that the first production CS100 aircraft would soon commence function and reliability tests.[73] The CS100 completed its certification testing program in mid-November 2015.[74] On 25 November 2015, Bombardier completed the first phase of its route proving capabilities, with a 100% dispatch reliability.[75]

After a development process that cost US$5.4 billion to December 2015, including a US$3.2 billion writeoff, the smallest model in the series, the 110- to 125-seat CS100 received initial type certification from Transport Canada on 18 December 2015.[76] At the time, the company had 250 firm orders and letters of intent, plus commitments for another 360; but most of these were for the CS300 model, which was expected to be certified by the summer of 2016. The first CS100 was expected to be in service with Lufthansa's subsidiary Swiss by mid-2016.[77][78]

The final prototype, Flight Test Vehicle 8 (FTV8), the second CS300, made its first flight on 3 March 2016.[79]

Program support

In October 2015 Airbus confirmed that it had turned down Bombardier's offer to sell a majority share of the CSeries to them. Bombardier then said it would explore alternatives. Just days before, the Government of Quebec reiterated that it would be willing to provide Bombardier with financial aid, should the company request it.[80][81][82] Bombardier stated that it was fully committed to the CSeries and had the financial resources in place to support the program.[83]

On 29 October 2015, Bombardier took a CA$3.2 billion writedown on the CSeries. The incoming Trudeau government indicated that it would reply to Bombardier's request for $350 million in assistance after it took power in early November.[84] On the same day, the Quebec government invested CA$1 billion in the company to save the struggling programme.[85]

In early November 2015, a Scotiabank report indicated that the company and the program would probably need a second bailout, and that even then the CSeries would probably not make money: Scotiabank analyst Turan Quettawala said, "we believe that the writedown corroborates our long-held view that the CSeries is not going to be value accretive under any scenario".[86]

In April 2016, the Government of Canada offered an aid package to the company without divulging the amount or conditions it imposed. On that date, some media reported that Bombardier had rejected the offer,[87] but an unnamed source advised Reuters that in fact, negotiations were still under way. On 14 April 2016, Bombardier shares were at a six-month high based on then-unconfirmed rumours that Delta had ordered CSeries jets.[88]

In 2016, it was reported that the company was requesting a CA$1 billion aid package from the Government of Canada.[89] In February 2017, Canada announced a package of CA$372.5 million in interest-free loans for Bombardier, with the CSeries to receive one-third.[90]


The CSeries was introduced at Swiss International Air Lines.
The CSeries was introduced at Swiss International Air Lines.

US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency certification for the CS100 was granted in June 2016.[91] The first CSeries, a CS100, was delivered to Swiss Global Air Lines on 29 June 2016 at Montréal–Mirabel International Airport.[92][93]

The CS300 aircraft was awarded its type certificate by Transport Canada on 11 July 2016.[94] The CS100 and CS300 were awarded a common type rating on 23 November 2016 from EASA and Transport Canada, allowing pilots to qualify on both types interchangeably.[95] The first CS300 was delivered to AirBaltic on 28 November 2016.[96][97] It was awarded type validation by the FAA on 14 December 2016.[98]

In March 2017, Bombardier conducted steep 5.5˚ approach landings tests at London City Airport (LCY), making it the largest aircraft to land there.[99] Bombardier announced that the CS100 received Transport Canada and EASA steep approach certification in April 2017.[100] Swiss completed its first revenue flight to London City on 8 August 2017 from Zurich, replacing the Avro RJ.[101]


Production was set to ramp from seven CSeries deliveries in 2016 to 30–35 aircraft in 2017 after Pratt & Whitney PW1000G supply and start issues are resolved.[102] Production could increase to 90–120 aircraft per year by 2020.[103] The CSeries delivery goal for 2017 was revised to 20–22, due to Pratt & Whitney delivery delays,[104] but only 17 deliveries were completed in the year.[105]

After months of engine delays, Korean Air received its first CS300 on 22 December 2017.[106] Its second was scheduled to arrive in Seoul on 1 January 2018, with the type's entry into service planned for 16 January 2018 and the remaining eight aircraft to be delivered later in 2018, among 40 total planned CSeries deliveries.[107]

Delivery reached 33 in 2018 and 48 in 2019.[108]

Airbus partnership

Deliveries from Airbus in Mobile, Alabama started in 2020.
Deliveries from Airbus in Mobile, Alabama started in 2020.

Partnership development

The CSeries competed with the smaller A320 variants. Airbus COO–Customers, John Leahy, decided to aggressively compete against Bombardier rather than ignoring the CSeries and allowing it to grow, as Boeing had done with Airbus. Airbus dropped the price of the A320 in head-to-head competition and successfully blocked Bombardier from several deals. The 2010 order for 40 CS300s and 40 options from Republic Airways Holdings – then owner of exclusive A319/320 operator Frontier Airlines – also pushed Airbus into the A320neo re-engine.[109]

By July 2016, Bombardier Aerospace set up the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) with Investissement Québec.[110] On 16 October 2017, Airbus and Bombardier announced that Airbus would acquire a 50.01% majority stake in this partnership, with Bombardier keeping 31% and Investissement Québec 19%, to expand in an estimated market of more than 6,000 new 100- to 150-seat aircraft over 20 years. Airbus's supply chain expertise should save production costs but headquarters and assembly remain in Québec while U.S. customers would benefit from a second assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. This transaction was subject to regulatory approvals then expected to be completed in 2018.[111] Airbus did not pay for its share in the program, nor did it assume any debt.[112][113] Leahy considered that by "pressing the Trump Administration for 300% tariffs, [Boeing] forced them into our hands", and Boeing doesn't care about the present cost to "not to have competition, [...] an admission of a weak product line and a weak commercial organization that they say we just can't afford that competition".[109] This competitive position then developed into a concept of partnership as the advantages of this to both sides became apparent when considering joint competition with Boeing.

Airbus insisted that the company had no plan to buy out Bombardier's stake in the C-series program and that Bombardier would remain a strategic partner after 2025, however clauses allow it to buy out Quebec's share in 2023 and Bombardier's 7 years after the deal closes, though it also stipulates production is required to remain in Quebec until at least 2041.[114] While assembling the aircraft in U.S. could circumvent the 300% duties proposed in the CSeries dumping petition by Boeing, Airbus CEO Tom Enders and Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare assured that this factor did not drive the partnership, but negotiations began in August after the April 2017 filing and the June decision to proceed and, as a result, Boeing was suspicious.[113] Leeham News commented that "the Airbus–Bombardier partnership [...] thrusts a big stick up Boeing's tailpipe".[115]

With the Airbus corporate strength behind it, AirInsight anticipate the CSeries market share of the 100- to 149-seat market over 20 years will increase from 40% of 5,636 aircraft (2254 sales) to 55–60%, around 3,010 aircraft.[116] Supplier costs could be cut by 30–40% by Airbus's market power, as a 10% procurement costs decrease would add six gross margin points to the program. Boeing was seriously concerned that it could not match fleet package deals enabled by the partnership. A CS500 stretch would allow Airbus to enlarge its A320-family replacement to better compete with the proposed Boeing New Midsize Airplane.[117] Airbus will assist in marketing and servicing.[118]

At the Dubai Airshow in November 2017, Embraer assured it will monitor Airbus marketing involvement until antitrust immunity is granted, for dumping pricing after, and that Brazil will sue Canada for its subsidies to Bombardier through the World Trade Organization. Bombardier plans to deliver 40-45 CSeries in 2018 as regulatory clearance would happen likely toward the end of the year. Embraer thinks Airbus will not be able to lower the CSeries supply chain costs enough to make it profitable and view it as heavy, expensive and adapted to long, thin routes exceeding the E-jet E2 range, whose operational capabilities would win a majority of the market share as commitments should follow certification and entry into service.[119]

During competition investigation, the partners were to operate separately and clean teams with privileged access to competitively sensitive data but separated from their management planned the integration, evaluating synergies and preparing communications to regulators.[120] Antitrust approval aimed at finalisation by summer 2018 Farnborough Air Show to allow a marketing push.[121] It was planned to rebrand the CSeries as an Airbus model, with A200 suggested as a family name and A210/A230 for the CS100 and CS300.[122] As the clearances process neared completion, there were hopes that the takeover could have been completed by the end of May 2018, accelerating orders and cost-reduction efforts.[123]

Airbus sought to reduce costs from all suppliers, including Bombardier, wing builder Short Brothers and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. The Mobile facility was scheduled to begin deliveries starting in 2020.[124] It was intended that the CSeries team would be formed by leaders from both Bombardier and Airbus and headed by Philippe Balducchi, then Head of Performance Management at Airbus Commercial Aircraft.[125]

Partnership approval

The A220-300 with the Airbus livery after its July 2018 takeover
The A220-300 with the Airbus livery after its July 2018 takeover

On 8 June 2018, after regulatory approval, Airbus and Bombardier announced that Airbus would take a majority stake on 1 July 2018. The head office, leadership team and primary final assembly line would stay in Mirabel, with its workforce of 2,200. Bombardier would fund the cash shortfalls if required, up to US$610 million from the second half of 2018 to 2021.[126] The FAL in Mobile will start deliveries in 2020 with a monthly production rate of four, rising to six for a capacity of eight while the main Mirabel FAL can go to ten.[127] Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare predicted that the partnership would significantly accelerate sales. "It brings certainty to the future of the program so it increases the level of confidence that the aircraft is there to stay. Combining the CSeries with Airbus's global scale ... will take the CSeries program to new heights".[128]

Partnership outcomes

At the 2008 launch of the program, Bombardier had forecast 315 annual deliveries from 2008 to 2027 for 100- to 150-seat airliners, but in the first 10.5 years, the six models available (B737-700, A318/A319, CS100/CS300 and E195) averaged fewer than 80 per year.[129] The aircraft was renamed the A220-100/300 on 10 July 2018 at Airbus's headquarters in Toulouse, 10 days after control of the program was handed over to Airbus.[130] Airbus is targeting over 100 orders in 2018 and 3,000 over 20 years, half of the 100- to 150-seat market, and needs a supply chain cost reduction over 10%.[131] In July 2018, Airbus CFO Harald Wilhelm predicted a production potential of more than 100 aircraft per year.[132]

Airbus wants its suppliers to lower their prices by 20% for more volume, or to switch them, towards 150 yearly deliveries.[133] Airbus logged net orders for 135 A220s in 2018[134] and 63 net orders in 2019.[135]

On 1 June 2019, the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership was renamed to Airbus Canada Limited Partnership and adopted the Airbus logo as its sole visual identity.[136]

In February 2020, Bombardier exited the programme, selling its share to Airbus for $591 million. Airbus owns 75% of the programme; the remaining 25%, held by Investissement Québec, can be redeemed by Airbus from 2026.[8] The removal of Bombardier's financial constraints gave Airbus greater latitude for further investment in the programme,[137] which will be needed to ramp up production rates, but will push back the break-even point of the programme to the mid-2020s.[138] Also in February, start-up airline, Green Africa Airways, signed up for 50 A220-300s.[citation needed]


Bombardier had previously received a letter of intent for 31 firm orders and 30 options from an unidentified European carrier, to be finalised before 2017 end.[104] These should be CS100s based on the announced list value. Egyptair announced a letter of interest for 12 CS300s and 12 options at the November 2017 Dubai Air Show.[139] With the two orders planned to be finalised by the end of 2017,[140] the total number of CSeries orders is expected to rise to 403 by the end of the year, in addition to the 115 commitments, 90 options and 18 purchase rights already held.

On 28 May 2018, Air Baltic announced a firm order for 30 CS300 along with 15 options and 15 purchase rights.[141]

On 10 July 2018, just hours after the CSeries was rebranded by Airbus, JetBlue ordered 60 A220-300s to replace its 60 Embraer 190s from 2020 with 40% lower fuel burn per seat, a blow to Embraer which was marketing the E195-E2 to the carrier.[142] Priced at $5.4 billion before customary discounts, they should be delivered from Mobile, Alabama, some could be converted to the A220-100 and 60 options are pending from 2025.[143] JetBlue found the two models very close economically, as the A220-300 fuel seat cost is 40% lower than its current E190 and operating cost per seat excluding fuel are 22% lower.[144]

Since July 2018, Airbus has been promoting the A220 to airlines in Southeast Asia in particular, highlighting low operating costs for regional jet operators and low seat-mile costs for the low-cost carriers that dominate this very price-sensitive market. Airbus also believes that the A220 will have a role to play in the rise of point-to-point traffic in the region, especially on new routes with thin initial demand.[145]

In January 2019, confirmation of sales to JetBlue and Moxy pushed the A220 order backlog to more than double that of the slightly larger A319neo.[146] Delta Air Lines ordered 15 further A220s for a total of 90 until 2023, including a conversion of 50 to the larger 130-seat A220-300 from 2020.[147] Airbus acknowledged that competition between the A220-300 and the A319neo was resulting in fewer A319 orders, but confirmed that the A319neo will not be discontinued.[42] In May 2019, a Delta Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificate report indicated the A220-100 mean appraised value was $34.1 million per aircraft, but there was wide variation.[148]

At the Paris Air Show 2019, Air Lease Corporation signed a letter of intent for 50 A220-300s, thus becoming the first major leasing company to order the type.[149] In July 2019, Air France–KLM announced a commitment for 60 A220-300s, plus options and acquisition rights for a further 60 aircraft, to be delivered from September 2021 with the aim of gradually replacing Air France's A318 and A319 fleet.[150] Air France noted that it would be interested in converting some of its orders to a stretched variant of the A220 if Airbus were to develop one.[151] The Air France Memorandum of Understanding, once converted to a firm order, is to bring the backlog to a total of 611 aircraft. However, up to 110 of these are indefinitely deferred "ghost" orders recorded by Bombardier before the Airbus takeover.[152]

Production is to be ramped up, reaching ten per month in Mirabel and four per month in Alabama by the mid-2020s.[153] The market share is split between 80% -300s and 20% -100s.[154] The groundbreaking ceremony for the $300 million final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama was held on 16 January 2019;[155] on this occasion Airbus confirmed its confidence that there is enough demand to justify two assembly sites and that the aircraft can be made profitable.[156] On 5 August 2019, production started at Mobile.[157] The first A220 from the new line is to be delivered to Delta in the third quarter of 2020.[7] The Mobile facility was not due to be finished until 2020, but work started early to ensure that the delivery schedule for Delta can be met.[42]

The first Airbus A220 produced in Mobile, Alabama, destined for Delta Air Lines, completed its first flight on 2 June 2020. At that date, production of the first aircraft for JetBlue Airways had also recently started.[158] This first aircraft, an A220-300, was delivered on 23 October 2020.[159]

In October 2020, Southwest Airlines, an all-Boeing carrier since it was founded and the world's largest operator of the Boeing 737, announced that it was considering the A220 family to replace its 737-700 aircraft from 2025. As of October 2020, Southwest had 421 737-700s in service and another 72 in storage. The A220 will be competing with the yet-to-be-certified 737 MAX 7.[160]

Continuing development

By December 2018, the EASA approved Category IIIa/IIIb instrument approaches for autoland with no decision height but runway visibility minimum requirements.[161] By January 2019, ETOPS 180 was granted by Transport Canada, allowing direct routes over water or remote regions.[162]

After beating performance promises by 3%, performance improvement packages shaving operating costs were studied by Bombardier before Airbus took over and may be announced at the June 2019 Paris Air Show. These could include putting doors on the exposed main wheels to reduce drag but with added weight and complexity.[163] Two to three more seats could be added by moving the aft lavatory, without reducing the seat pitch.[164]

On 21 May 2019, Airbus announced a 2,268 kg (5,000 lb) MTOW increase from the second half of 2020, from 60.8 to 63.1 t (134,000 to 139,000 lb) for the A220-100 and 67.6 to 69.9 t (149,000 to 154,000 lb) for the A220-300, expanding the range by 450 nmi (830 km): the A220-300 to 3,350 and 3,400 nmi (6,200 and 6,300 km) for the A220-100.[165] With the Airbus ruleset (90 kg passengers with bags, 3% enroute reserve, 200 nmi alternate and 30 minutes hold), the 108-seat A220-100 could reach 3,800 nmi (7,000 km) and the 130-seat A220-300 would achieve a range of 3,500 nmi (6,500 km) while being limited by its fuel capacity. With a denser economy seating at a 30-inch pitch down from 32, a 116-seat A220-100 would still reach 3,700 nmi (6,900 km) and a 141-seat A220-300 would exceed 3,350 nmi (6,200 km).[166]

From 2021, David Neeleman's Moxy project should receive A220-300s with extra fuel tanks for 4,000 nmi (7,400 km) of range, allowing transatlantic flights or long routes like OrlandoCuritiba, Brazil, more range than the A321LR with 70% lower trip costs than A330s.[167]

In February 2020, Airbus announced an increase in payload capacity, achieved through a 1.8 t increase in the maximum zero-fuel weight and maximum landing weight of both the -100 and the -300, to be introduced as an option from 2022.[168]

In October 2020, Airbus announced an ACJ variant of the A220-100, to be known as the ACJ TwoTwenty, with a range of 5,650 nmi (10,460 km) and cabin space of 73 m2 (790 sq ft) for 18 passengers.[169]


Airbus A220-100 and A220-300 illustration with front, side and top views, wearing the Bombardier livery
Airbus A220-100 and A220-300 illustration with front, side and top views, wearing the Bombardier livery

The Airbus A220 was originally designed by Bombardier as the CSeries aircraft incorporating a high proportion of composite materials and larger windows. The CSeries cabin featured large, rotating overhead storage bins, allowing each passenger to stow a sizeable carry-on bag overhead. Bombardier claimed that compared to the cabins of current in-service narrowbody aircraft, the CSeries would provide airlines with the highest overhead bin volume per passenger and a wider aisle that allows for faster boarding and disembarkation of passengers.[170]

The aircraft contain 70% advanced materials comprising 46% composite materials and 24% aluminium–lithium. Bombardier claimed an overall 15% lower seat-mile cost, 20% lower fuel burn and a CO
emissions advantage, a 25% reduction in maintenance costs and four-fold reduction in the noise footprint compared to existing production aircraft.[35]

Bombardier claimed the engine and the wings would save up to 20% fuel compared with the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737NG with which it competed at the time; the CS300 was 6 tonnes lighter than the Airbus A319neo and nearly 8 tons lighter than the Boeing 737 MAX 7, helping it to achieve up to 12% operating costs savings and 15% with the current models.[171]

Operational history

airBaltic became the first operator of the CS300 in December 2016.
airBaltic became the first operator of the CS300 in December 2016.

The CS100 (now A220-100) began revenue service on 15 July 2016 with a Swiss International Air Lines flight between Zürich and Paris.[2][172] The CS300 (now A220-300) revenue service began on 14 December 2016 with an airBaltic flight from Riga to Amsterdam in a 145-seat two-class configuration.[98]

Swiss stated in August 2016, one month after the start of CS100 (A220-100) service, that "the customer feedback is very positive with the expected remarks concerning the bright cabin, reduced noise, enough leg room and space for hand luggage as well as the comfortable seats. Also, the feedback from our pilots is gratifying. They especially like the intuitive flying experience."[173] AirBaltic lauded lower noise levels for passengers and more space for luggage than its Boeing 737-300s.[174]

Bombardier targets a 99% dispatch reliability at entry into service.[175] In August 2016, Swiss reported "much higher" reliability than other new aircraft, citing Airbus's A380, A320neo and Boeing's 787.[173] After four months of service with Swiss, this goal seems to have been met based on only three aircraft and 1,500 hours flown; "nuisance messages" from the integrated avionics suite and the PW1000G start-up delays have been the main griefs.[176] Dispatch reliability rates of 99% were met in April 2017.[177] A year after introduction, launch operators had fewer issues than expected for a new program. Air Baltic have 99.3–99.4% dispatch reliability, similar to the established Q400 but less than the 99.8% Boeing 737 Classic benefiting from its ubiquitous presence.[178] It improved to 99.85% in October 2017.[179]

Since the PW1500G mount generates less strain on the turbine rotor assembly than the A320neo's PW1100G, it does not suffer from start-up and bearing problems but still from premature combustor degradation. After 28,000 engine hours in 14 in-service aircraft with a powerplant dispatch reliability of 99.9%, Swiss replaced an engine pair in May 2017 after 2,400 h, while AirBaltic replaced another one in June. An updated combustor liner with a 6,000–8,000 hour limit has been developed and a third generation for 2018 will raise it to 20,000 hours in benign environments.[178] In July 2018, Pratt & Whitney announced that the PW1500G had been granted 180-minute ETOPS approval by the FAA.[180]

Upon introduction, both variants are performing above their original specifications and the CS300 range is 2% better than the brochure, as are its per seat and per trip cost.[102] airBaltic reports a 2600 l/h fuel consumption against 3000 l/h for its Boeing 737-300 with similar capacity.[181] It then claimed 21% better fuel efficiency.[174] Fuel burn is more than 1% lower than the marketing claims and Bombardier will update its performance specifications later in 2017.[178] The CSeries is 25% cheaper to fly than the Avro RJ100 which it replaces at Swiss.[182] On long missions, the CS100 is up to 1% more fuel efficient than the brochure and the CS300 up to 3%.[183] The CS300 burns 20% less fuel than the Airbus A319, 21% less than the 737 Classic while the CS100 burns 18 to 27% less per seat than the Avro RJ.[179] The CS300 is expected to be 15% cheaper to operate per seat than the Embraer E190.[184]

Swiss initially flew six sectors a day and by July 2017 up to nine a day with an average time of 1 hours 15 minutes. Air Baltic's flight length averages 3 h, and the average fleet daily utilisation is 14 h.[178] In September 2017, over 1.5 million passengers had 16,000 revenue flights in the 18 aircraft in service, making up to 100 revenue flights per day on 100 routes: most used are up to 17 hours per day and up to 10 legs per day.[183] Quick 35–minute turnarounds even allowed 11 legs per day.[179] By June 2018, Air Baltic reached a maximum utilisation of 18.5 hours a day.[185]

The A Check is scheduled after 850 flight hours: the check originally took 5 hours and has since been reduced to less than 3 hours, within an 8-hour shift. C Check are scheduled after 8,500 hours – translating to about 3.5 years of operation. Based on experience since product launch, A-checks intervals could increase to 1,000 hours and C-checks to 10,000 hours toward the end of 2019.[178] By September 2017 end, the fleet had undergone 20 A-checks with no findings.[183]

First delivery to Delta in October 2018
First delivery to Delta in October 2018

On 22 December 2017, Korean Air became the third airline to take delivery of a Bombardier CSeries aircraft, a CS300.[186] On 20 January 2018, Korean Air made their first revenue flight with the CS300, from Seoul to Ulsan.[187]

July 2018 saw the delivery of the first aircraft with Airbus branding: an A220-300 delivered to Air Baltic.[188]

On 26 October, Delta Air Lines received its first A220-100 (of its order for 75, which was disputed by Boeing).[189] On 7 February 2019, Delta operated its maiden A220-100 flight with service from New York–LaGuardia Airport to Dallas–Fort Worth.[190]

On 20 December 2019, Air Canada received its first A220-300 of its order for 45.[191] Air Canada began A220 flights on 16 January 2020 between Calgary and Montreal.[192] Air Canada expects A220s to be 15% cheaper to operate per seat than the Embraer 190s they will replace.[193]

Engine issues

On 25 July 2019, a Swiss International Air Lines A220-300 had an engine inflight shutdown (IFSD) and diverted to Paris–Charles de Gaulle.[194] On 16 September 2019, a similar incident happened just before reaching 35,000 ft and the crew returned to Geneva.[195] On September 26, 2019 the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive mandating borescope inspections on the engines.[196] On 15 October 2019, another engine failed and the crew diverted to Paris–Charles de Gaulle. Swiss withdrew its fleet for inspection.[197] A software update may cause damaging vibrations of fast-moving parts, causing the failures.[198] After those engine failures, Transport Canada issued an emergency airworthiness directive limiting the power to 94% of N1 (Low Pressure Spool rotational speed) above 29,000 ft (8,800 m), disengaging the autothrottle for the climb over this altitude before engaging it again in cruise.[199]



  • Marketing designation of the BD-500-1A10 for aircraft from serial number 50011.[200] Formerly CS100.


  • Marketing designation of the BD-500-1A11 for aircraft from serial number 55003.[200] Formerly CS300.

ACJ TwoTwenty

  • The corporate jet version of the A220-100 has a range of 10,460 km and a cabin area of 73 m2 for 18 passengers.[201]


As of 30 June 2020, 116 aircraft are in commercial service.[3] The largest operators were Delta Air Lines (31), Swiss International Air Lines (29), airBaltic (22), Korean Air (10), EgyptAir (9).

Orders and deliveries

The Airbus A220 family has the following firm orders and delivered aircraft totals:[3]

Net orders (cumulative by year)
Data as of September 2020[3][202]
Type Ordered Delivered
A220-100 94 40
A220-300 545 83
Total 639 123

As of September 2020[3][202]

Orders and deliveries by year

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Total
Net orders 50 40 43 15 34 65 117 12 165 63 39 639
Deliveries 7 17 33 48 18 123

As of September 2020[3][202]


The A220-100 competes with the Embraer E195-E2, while the A220-300 complements the Airbus A319neo in competing against the Boeing 737 MAX 7[203][146]

The effect of stiff competition and production delays was apparent in early 2016. On 20 January, United Continental Holdings ordered 40 Boeing 737-700 aircraft instead.[204] Aside from ready availability of aircraft already in full production, the purchase of Boeing vs. the Bombardier CSeries was financially prudent. Since United already flies 310 of the 737, there will be savings for pilot training and fewer spare parts will need to be stocked. Boeing also reportedly gave United a massive 73% discount on the 737 deal, dropping the price to $22 million per aircraft,[205] well below the CS300 market value at $36 million.[206] In November 2016, United deferred this order to save $1.6Bn in CAPEX or $26 million per 61 aircraft.[207]

David Tyerman, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity offered the following assessment of the impact of this news to the Toronto Star: "This just shows how difficult it is for Bombardier to win orders these days. It's not the end of the world, but this loss illustrates what they are up against. It also raises the question of how profitable the next C Series order they win will be for them."[208]

On 17 February 2016, Air Canada signed a letter of intent with Bombardier for up to 75 CS300 aircraft as part of its narrowbody fleet renewal plan. This comprised 45 firm orders, plus options for an additional 30 aircraft. It includes substitution rights to CS100 aircraft in certain circumstances, with deliveries to occur from late 2019 to 2022.[209] The $3.8 billion order for 45 CS300 aircraft was finalized on 28 June 2016.[210]

On 28 April 2016, Bombardier and Delta Air Lines announced a sale for 75 CS100 firm orders and 50 options; the first aircraft should enter service in spring 2018.[211] Delta Air Lines, it was thought, would likely start using more fuel-efficient CS100s in 2018 on flights out of Los Angeles, New York and Dallas.[174] Airways News believe that a substantial 65 to 70% discount off the $71.8 million list price was provided making the final sale at $24.6–28.7 million price per aircraft; this large order from a major carrier could help Bombardier to break the Boeing/Airbus duopoly on narrowbody aircraft.[212]

With those 127 firm orders in early 2016, introduction should be with a firm backlog of more than 300 orders and up to 800 aircraft including options, conditional orders, letters of intent and purchase rights; they imply an onerous contract provision of around $500 million, $3.9 million per order.[213]

Boeing dumping petition

The CSeries CS100 demonstrated for Delta Air Lines in Atlanta
The CSeries CS100 demonstrated for Delta Air Lines in Atlanta

On 28 April 2016, Bombardier Aerospace recorded a firm order from Delta Air Lines for 75 CSeries CS100s plus 50 options. On 27 April 2017, Boeing filed a petition for dumping them at $19.6m each, below their $33.2m production cost.

On 9 June 2017, the US International Trade Commission (USITC) found that the US industry could be threatened. On 26 September, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) observed subsidies of 220% and intended to collect deposits accordingly, plus a preliminary 80% anti-dumping duty, resulting in a duty of 300%. The DoC announced its final ruling, a total duty of 292%, on 20 December. On 10 January 2018, the Canadian government filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization against the US.

On 26 January 2018, the four USITC commissioners unanimously determined that US industry is not threatened and no duty orders will be issued, overturning the imposed duties. The Commission public report was made available by February 2018. On March 22, Boeing declined to appeal the ruling.


Airbus A220 specifications[35]
Variant A220-100 (BD-500-1A10)[214] A220-300 (BD-500-1A11)[214]
Cockpit crew 2 pilots
Passengers 100-120 (135 max)[215] 120-150 (160 max)[215]
Seat pitch 28–36 in (71–91 cm) in Y/J 28–38 in (71–97 cm) in Y/J
Seat width 18.5 to 20 in (47 to 51 cm)
Cargo volume 23.7 m³ / 839 cu.ft 31.6 m³ / 1,118 cu.ft
Length 35.00 m / 114' 9" 38.70 m / 127' 0"
Wing 35.10 m / 115' 1" span / 112.3 m2 (1,209 sq ft) area (10.97 AR)
Height 11.50 m / 38' 8"
Fuselage diameter 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)
Cabin 3.28 m / 10' 9" width / 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) height
Cabin length 23.7 m (78 ft)[216] 27.5 m (90 ft)[217]
MTOW[215] 63.10 t / 139,000 lb 69.90 t / 154,000 lb
Maximum payload 15.1 t (33,300 lb) 18.7 t (41,200 lb)
OEW 77,650 lb (35.22 t)[218] 81,750 lb (37.08 t)[219]
Fuel capacity[215] 21,805 L / 5,760 USgal 21,508 L / 5,681 USgal
Range[215] 6,297 km / 3,400 nmi 6,204 km / 3,350 nmi
Cruise speed Mach .82 (470 kn; 871 km/h) max, Mach .78 (447 kn; 829 km/h) typical
Takeoff distance (MTOW) 4,800 ft / 1,463 m[216] 6,200 ft / 1,890 m[217]
Landing distance (MLW) 4,550 ft / 1,387 m[216] 4,950 ft / 1,509 m[217]
Ceiling 41,000 ft / 12,497 m[214]
Engines Pratt & Whitney PW1500G
Unit thrust 18,900–23,300 lbf / 84.1–103.6 kN 21,000–23,300 lbf / 93.4–103.6 kN
ICAO type BCS1[220] BCS3[220]

See also

Current and future generation regional jets and small narrowbodies, based on CAPA and Bombardier
Current and future generation regional jets and small narrowbodies, based on CAPA and Bombardier

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


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External links

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