AirFrance-KLM CEO Ben Smith has said he would like Airbus to produce an A220-500 stretch version. He envisions KLM and Transavia replacing their combined 737 fleets with a new version.
The issue of course is that Airbus don’t make one, and a single customer order even for 100 aircraft wouldn’t be a viable option.
However, a stretch is reasonably easy to achieve and if Airbus could find other airline to get the figure to around 200-250 units total, it’s entirely possible it becomes a real possibility.
Ben Smith’s suggestion may seem off the wall at present, but with the MAX reputation in tatters and many airlines unwilling to go down that road – IAG being an exception because they don’t care what passengers think as long as they get a bargain, it’s not as far from possibility as might be expected.
An increased seating capacity, high fuel efficiency and the fact that the A220 is frankly a superb aircraft – it would be a really interesting option.