The first Airbus Delta Air Lines A220-100 took off on its maiden flight from Mirabel airport, Quebec, at 02:02 p.m. on 6th October.
Delta Air Lines’ first Airbus A220-100 took off on its maiden flight from Mirabel airport, Quebec, at 02:02 p.m. local time on 6th October. The aircraft was crewed by A220 programme test pilots.
During the successful 2 hour and 53 minutes flight, the crew checked the aircraft’s main systems and landed back in Mirabel at 04:55 p.m.
Next, the aircraft will continue with pre-delivery testing and installation of the cabin interior. Delta’s first A220 is scheduled to enter service in early 2019.
Delta Air Lines will be the first U.S. airline to operate the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan-powered A220 — the former Bombardier CSeries — and the fourth worldwide, after Swiss International Air Lines, airBaltic, and Korean Air.
Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft, along with options for a further 50.
The order for the CSeries, as the aircraft was then known, attracted a lot of attention due to Boeing's subsequent complaint about unfair pricing by Bombardier. The complaint initially resulted in heavy import tarifs being imposed on the C Series programme — which has been majority-owned by Airbus since July.
Most of the Delta A220s will be built at the Airbus facility in Mobile, Alabama.
Delta has also ordered 100 A321neo aircraft, which are also powered by Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines.