New Airbus A220 drops into Bangkok during Asia Pacific tour

Perfectly timed with Boeing’s woes and uncertainty over its 737 Max aircraft, Airbus is touring the Asia Pacific displaying its new A220-300 jet on a two-week demonstration tour. The new 143 seat aircraft flew executives from leading Thai airlines over Bangkok yesterday to secure some sales, especially Thai Airways who are in the market to freshen up their garage of planes.

The main noticeable difference with the new Airbus A220 its 3+2 seating arrangement, providing seats that are just a tad wider than the standard 3+3 seating you get in Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft. The composite aircraft is also slightly slimmer than the A320 and Boeing 373.

So where did this new Airbus A220 come from? It was previously known as the Bombardier CSeries, originally designed and built by the Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace, now marketed by Airbus and built through a joint venture called Airbus Canada Limited Partnership. How it ended up as part of the Airbus family is a long tale about US/Canadian trade relations and tariffs. But here it is now, a new variant for airlines wanting something slightly smaller than the short-haul workhorse, the A 320 series.

It also comes along at a perfect time for the European aircraft manufacturer with the Boeing 737 Max series grounded indefinitely after two crashes which killed 346 passengers – one off Jakarta and the other in Ethiopia.

While the A320neo is Airbus’s best-selling model, the A220-300 is a perfect fit for destinations with softer demand.

In Asia, Airbus has more than a 60% market in the single-aisle market, with more than 3,000 jets flying for 80 different carriers and over 1,500 on order for future delivery.

Christine De Gagne, marketing director at Airbus, says the 100-150 seat market is one of the promising segments in the next 20 years . She told the Bangkok Post that the demand for this size of single-aisle jet will grow to 7,000 in the next 20 years. Airbus aims to take at least a 20% .

Korean Air and Air Vanuatu are the first two customers for the A220 in AsiaPacific.

In Thailand, Airbus has 153 aircraft in service under leading brands such as Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia and Thai AirAsia X.

“Thailand is standing out as one of the leading markets in AsiaPacific. Airbus hopes new aircraft in the fleet will help the airline kick-start with appropriate demand before expanding to the bigger jet in the family when the time is right.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

The new Airbus A220 is a single-aisle place but with a 3+2 seating arrangement