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Old 11th July 2018, 01:09 PM
Greg Hyde Greg Hyde is offline
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Default Airbus rebrands Bombardierís C Series as A220

Airbus rebrands Bombardierís C Series as A220

Itís official. The struggling Bombardier C Series regional jet is no more.

Bedecked in its new livery and renamed the Airbus A220, the jet conducted a low-level flypast before media from around the world before touching down at its new home in Toulouse, France on Tuesday in what the European planemakerís commercial aircraft president Guillaume Faury described as a historic moment, not only for Airbus but for the aviation industry as a whole.

The event marked the first salvo in what promises to be a new competitive arena between bitter rivals Airbus and Boeing with both entering the 100-seat regional jet sector for the first time, though Toulouse has a significant head start.

Boeing announced earlier this month it is attempting to form a joint venture with Brazilís Embraer Ė itís E-jets are the main rival to the former C Series Ė with Boeing set to own 80 per cent of the new company and Embraer taking the remaining 20 per cent.

That deal would value the new JV at some US$4.74 billion but it is not expected to be finalized until the end of calendar 2019.

In the meantime, Airbus says it will fully integrate the A220 into its single-aisle family of aircraft, slotting in below its existing A319 and the A320 series of jets.

Airbusí David Dufrenois, Head of Sales for the new addition, made it clear there will be an all-out marketing effort to get new customers for the A220. Sales of the Bombardier C Series have been relatively poor, with a total of 402 orders.

Of those, 38 have been delivered to three carriers, leaving a current backlog of 364. These numbers will have to increase dramatically if production at the assembly line at the Mirabel, Quťbec plant in Canada and a new assembly line being built in Alabama in the United States are to become economically viable. Only 17 C Series aircraft were produced last year, although Airbus says this will double in 2018.
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