Airbus aim to dominate Indian aviation market with A220

Airbus A220. (File Photo/Airbus)

Pitching for a big share in the Indian aviation market's demand for 2,000 single-aisle aircraft, Airbus on Monday completed a demonstration flight of its new A220 on the Bengaluru - Delhi route.

The global aerospace major showcased the A220 as the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market, with extended range capability of up to 3,400 nautical miles. This, Airbus maintained, would make it particularly suitable for operations in India. 

Aboard the aircraft, the demonstration flight of which was operated by Baltic Air, wider seats, aisle and bigger windows made it appear more spacious than other aircraft of the same category. 

Accompanying a media team, Connor Buott, senior analyst, Single-Aisle Family Product Marketing, Airbus, said the seating configuration can be customised to any requirement of the airline. "We have options for airlines to be full economy or full business," he explained. 

On the aviation market in Asia, Buott said the demand for single-aisle aircraft would triple over the next 20 years, and the same trend will be seen in India too. 

Since Airbus already has an established network in India, he hoped the company could secure sizeable orders for A220 from airlines here. 

For aviation startups, he felt the aircraft could be an ideal stepping stone, offering the lowest risk.

Known before as Bombardier CSeries (or C Series), the A220 is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet originally designed and built by the Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace.

Currently, 90 aircraft are in service worldwide with 525 firm orders. Delta, Swiss Air, Air Tanzania, Egypt Air, Baltic Air and Air Korean are among the operators flying this plane, according to Buott.

Fuel efficiency and range of the A220 are what Airbus is banking on to beat the competition. These are expected to allow its operators to connect its large hubs with smaller cities. This, while making sure the load factors that would maintain profitability. The claimed fuel savings are up to 20%.

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