Airplane GEEK

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The US Remains Vital: Inside The Airbus A220’s Operations

Some 11 airlines have the A220. However, this rises to 14 if Eurowings and SAS (which wet lease aircraft from airBaltic) and Ibom Air (leased from EgyptAir) are included. Zurich, Riga, Salt Lake City, Toronto, and LaGuardia are the best airports to see the type this winter, while Air Austral’s Reunion to Chennai is the world’s longest A220 route.

Delta Air Lines Airbus A220-100 N118DU Bank (1)
Thanks to Delta, Salt Lake City has more A220 flights than any other North America airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

11 airlines have the A220, but 14 use it

According to, there are currently 183 aircraft A220 delivered, including those operational and inactive. Air France began using A220 on October 31st, with initial trips from Paris CDG to Berlin and Venice.

  1. Delta: 51 A220s (41 -100s, 10 -300s)
  2. airBaltic: 32 (all -300s)
  3. SWISS: 30 (21 -300s, nine -100s)
  4. Air Canada: 26 (all -300s)
  5. EgyptAir: 12 (all -300s)
  6. Korean Air: 10 (all -300s)
  7. JetBlue: eight (all -300s)
  8. Air France: four (all -300s)
  9. Air Tanzania: four (all -300s)
  10. Air Austral: three (all -300s)
  11. Air Manas: one (-300)
Air Canada Airbus A220-300 C-GJXE
At 2,539 miles (4,086km), Air Canada’s Montreal to San Francisco service is the world’s third-longest A220 route this winter. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

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Over seven in 10 A220s is the larger -300

Only Delta and SWISS use the smaller A220-100, and the pair are the only airlines globally to use both variants. The -300 has more than seven in every 10 A220 flights, with very few orders left for the smaller variant. None of this should be surprising.

Basic aircraft economics indicates that the larger the aircraft, the higher the trip cost but the lower the seat-mile cost. There’s always a balance between trip cost, seat-mile cost, and capacity, hence the popularity of the mid-sized A320 and B737-800. It explains why smaller variants, like the A318 and B737-600, do less well except in niche roles.

EgyptAir to Tel Aviv
Africa is the third-largest continent for the A220, largely thanks to EgyptAir. Photo: via Sharon Idan.

The US is very much the leading A220 country

This winter, the A220 has 95,268 flights scheduled, according to data experts Cirium, with up to 767 a day. Some 67 countries are scheduled to see it. With over one-third of all movements, It’s very much about the US. Add Canada, and North America rises to almost half (47%).

It’ll rise further when Breeze begins using the type next year, reportedly sometime between April and June. The new entrant has 80 A220-300s on order, and it’s likely that services of two+ hours will operate, with much stronger economics than on its Embraer 190s/195s. The West Coast from existing East Coast and Midwest airports will likely see the type too.

The A220 is scheduled to 219 airports. Zurich has more flights than any other airport thanks to SWISS, while Salt Lake City, a growing airport for Delta, is the best place to see the type in the US, especially the -100. However, the A220 has ‘only’ 13% of Delta’s movements at the Utah hub, half as much as the Embraer 175.

  1. Zurich
  2. Riga
  3. Salt Lake City
  4. Toronto
  5. New York LaGuardia
  6. Boston
  7. Montreal
  8. Cairo
  9. Seattle
  10. Geneva
SWISS A220-100
Zurich has more A220 flights this winter than any other airport. Photo: Getty Images.

The -100 has a higher average route length

The average A220 route this winter is 738 miles (1,188km), according to Cirium. The -100 has an average length of 851 miles (1,365km), one-third higher than the -300. Delta is mainly the reason for the longer sector, with its A220-100 routes averaging 958 miles (1,541km).  Washington Dulles to Seattle is its longest, but it reverts to the B737-800 in early January.

Dulles to Seattle
Delta’s longest A220-100 route is Dulles to Seattle, often taking just over 5.5 hours. Image:

Reunion to Chennai is the longest route

At 2,870 miles (4,618km), Air Austral’s Reunion to Chennai, southern India, is the longest A220 route. In second and third place is airBaltic from Riga to Tenerife South and Dubai, while in fourth and fifth is Air Canada between Montreal and San Francisco and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

Have you flown the A220 yet? If so, let us know your experiences by commenting.

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