The new A220 aircraft, introduced to Mobile as a Bombardier CS-300 just two years ago, is now owned entirely by Airbus Canada and the government of Quebec, with Airbus holding a 75 percent share.
Airbus is assembling A220 aircraft in Mobile now, in the A320 assembly facility, while a second assembly line is in progress next door.
The Canadian firm Bombardier developed the single-aisle design to meet the needs of airlines hungry for a craft somewhat smaller than the Airbus 320 family. In giving up its share of the A220 — for which it is receiving $591 million — Bombardier is also exiting the commercial aircraft marketplace.
Dropping out of the A220 program allows Bombardier to focus on other aspects of the aerospace market, said President Alain Bellemare, who visited Mobile in April 2018 to introduce the plane.
The A220 is a single-aisle craft with 100 to 150 seats; the A320 family, also a single-aisle craft, seats 150 to 240.
The ownership change is not expected to change work in progress in Mobile.
“We are continuing to hire for out A220 and A320 programs, are on track for our first A220 delivery from Mobile in Q3 of this year and on track for reaching rate four (producing four a month) in the A220 program by the middle of the decade,” says Airbus Mobile spokesperson Kristi Tucker.
Airbus also has A220 facilities in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, building A220 cockpits and aft fuselages. That facility will be operated by a new Airbus subsidiary, Stelia Aeronautique Saint Laurent Inc.
As of the end of January, 107 A220 craft are in service with seven airlines on four continents.