Airbus recently announced that the Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) of its A220 aircraft is set to increase by 2,268 kilograms from 2020, resulting in an increased range of 6,200 kilometers for its A220-300 aircraft and 6,290 kilometers for its A220-100 aircraft, almost 830 kilometers more than its previously advertised range. The company also reached a major milestone of 12,000 deliveries with the delivery of its 12th A220 to Delta Airlines (US); the operator has ordered a further 40 A220-100 aircraft and 50 A220-300 aircraft.
|Model Name||Existing Range (km)||Extended Range (km)|
Amit Patil, Senior Analyst, Research: Aerospace and Defense at MarketsandMarkets™, shares his views:
The enhanced A220 will enable airline operators to cater to regions that cannot be served by other small single-aisle aircraft types. The improvement in range has been achieved by enhanced aerodynamics, the use of advanced materials, and Pratt & Whitney’s latest PW1500G geared turbofan engines that enable 20% lower fuel consumption per seat. This enhanced fuel efficiency of new engines will enable regional operators to decrease operational costs and increase profit margins in short-haul routes and is expected to be one of the major reasons for regional carriers to opt for the A220 aircraft. According to MarketsandMarkets™, Aircraft Engines Market would be worth USD 92.38 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 5.23%. Increasing Demand for Fuel-Efficient Engines and growing demand for lightweight engines is expected to fuel the demand for aircraft engines in the future.
IMPACT ON COMPETITORS
To address this, Boeing has teamed up with Embraer for its E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft. The two companies formed a joint venture in 2018, called Boeing Brasil – Commercial. As part of the deal, Boeing paid USD 4.2 billion for an 80% stake in Embraer’s commercial jet division.
Embraer’s E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft lead in lower fuel consumption as they carry less fuel and provide higher fuel-efficiency in comparison to the Airbus aircraft. However, the higher fuel carrying capacity of the Airbus A220 enables it to cover a greater distance in comparison to the Embraer aircraft. The extended range of the A220 series will help Airbus lead the regional transport aircraft market, and potentially replace the grounded Boeing 737 Max on transatlantic routes. According to Airbus, the A220 is expected to fly from Southeast Asia to Australia and from western Europe to the Middle East, paving a new development and innovation race among its competitors in the regional aircraft market.
FIGURE 1 AIRBUS DELIVERIES AND ORDERS AS OF APRIL 2019 FOR A220 SERIES AIRCRAFT
Source: Airbus website.
Airbus has more than 530 aircraft orders from airlines—such as Air Baltic, Air Canada, Delta Airlines, and Jet Blue, among others—pending for delivery. As of April 2019, the company has delivered 68 aircraft to various customers, including Swiss Airlines, Delta Airlines, Air Tanzania, and Korean Air, among others. Airbus is expected to lead the 100-150 seat category aircraft market in the coming years. Significant competition between Airbus’ A220 and Embraer’s E 190 series is likely to result in the introduction of new advanced aircraft at fair prices, benefiting regional airlines.