Airbus’ A220 series has recently been at the centre of attention as the European plane maker plots its next steps with the popular series.
Much discussion has surrounded a potential stretch, dubbed the A220-500, that would better solidify the plane as a global airline’s prime choice. However, that has reportedly not been finalised per Guillaume Faury, the Chief Executive of Airbus, as said in Toulouse.
While not finalised, the aircraft manufacturer has a solid appetite for further developing a larger A220 model. This indicates they want to complete the design and more of the plane.
Since acquiring the A220 series from Bombardier when it was formally known as the CSeries, Airbus has benefitted thanks to Boeing’s lack of competition. While Embraer is an ever-looming threat, Airbus is lucky that it can essentially capture a significant portion of the market share. Moreover, as Boeing has no plans for a new airliner anytime soon, Airbus believes stretching the A220 gives it one up on competitor Boeing and makes the A220 more attractive for respective niches.
Airbus says they’re currently in discussion with customers over a stretched A220. Communicating with customers allows all parties to be directly involved in an open discussion over the plane. This is commonly seen when plane-makers study new variants, as it will yield better results at launch. Famously though, Qantas was involved in the 777 design work but never ordered the jet.
While Airbus wants to move ahead with a stretched A220, it still looks to be finalising the aircraft. The company still has problems impacting production and delivery. It would not make sense to move forward at a time when difficulties are already experienced. This will be an essential factor to consider for executives.