Nicolas Jouan, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on Airbus’ decision:
“The A220 is Airbus’ second bestselling family of jetliner after the A320/321 in terms of units. The company first acquired the A220 to consolidate its position in the dynamic single-aisle market. Single-aisles dominated the Commercial Aircraft market in 2019 by capturing 53% of global sales, according to GlobalData.
“The decision to postpone the A220 production ramp up is related to the COVID-19 crisis, which virtually wiped out air travel and is putting extreme financial pressure on airlines. Airbus has already seen 16 A220-300 cancellations in 2020 from SaudiGulf Airlines.
“The airline ordered the A220s in 2014 at the Bahrain Air Show, but has since then clearly shifted its attention to the A320neo, and is understandably keen to streamline its narrow-body fleet to face the decrease of air travel revenues. The A220 is confronted to challenges inherent to commercial aviation such as, for instance, airlines increasingly attentive to fuel efficiency or Asian markets losing steam even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. This trend began before COVID-19 and will only be reinforced by the current situation.”
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