Airbus delivers 12000th aircraft, updates A220, ponders wing plant buy

Airbus has delivered its 12,000th aircraft, an A220 to Delta Airlines.

The manufacturer also announced that the A220 will get a range increase of some 450km by increasing the max take off weight by 2.3 tons.

The current basic MTOW is currently 60.8 tons for the A220-100 and 67.6 tons for the A220-300. With the new MTOW increase of 2.3 tons, the respective aircraft’s MTOW will be brought up at 63.1 tons for the A220-100 and 69.9 tons for the A220-300.

The new MTOW will increase the respective maximum range capabilities to 3,350 nm for the A220-300 and 3,400 nm for the A220-100, some 450 nm more than the current version.

The new specification will be standard from August production.

Meanwhile Brexit hampers decision making over whether or not Airbus will buy the Bombardier wing plant which supplies the A220, in Belfast. The lack of any decision on where Northern Ireland will be and the state of any customs regulations, if there will or won’t be a transitional process, makes it impossible to determine a long term future.

The only real advantage is a skilled work force, but they could just as easily be moved to the Broughton plant on the mainland which is about to loose its A380 work and has skilled staff ready and waiting. Even then Brexit still hangs like a sword of Damocles across industry generally. It’s the lack of decision that’s causing problems.