Airbus plans to build A220 jets for Air France at its Mirabel plant as part of an order announced Tuesday.
Slowly but surely, orders are piling up for the jet formerly known as the C Series – and that’s good news for Mirabel.Air France–KLM Group on Tuesday placed a firm order to acquire 60 Airbus A220 aircraft to modernize its fleet. The deal comes with an additional 30 purchase options and 30 acquisition rights, Air France-KLM said in a statement. Its Air France unit will operate the aircraft.Tuesday’s announcement is a boon for aerospace workers in Mirabel, where the jet will be assembled. Airbus Canada head Philippe Balducchi has said the company would build A220 jets destined for overseas markets in Mirabel, while a soon-to-be-completed facility in Mobile, Alabama handles orders from U.S. carriers.“I am extremely proud that Air France has chosen the A220 to renew its fleet,” Balducchi said Tuesday in a statement provided by Airbus. “Air France is a world-renowned airline and each time that such a reputable company demonstrates its confidence in the A220 and in Airbus, it is beneficial for the program as a whole.”Financial terms of the Air France order weren’t disclosed. Though Airbus no longer discloses list prices, it was advertising its A220-300s – the variant that Air France is ordering – at $91.5 million (U.S.) apiece as recently as last year. Airlines typically negotiate discounts on published list prices.Deliveries will begin in September 2021, Air France-KLM said. The company envisions the new jets replacing the older Airbus A318 and A319 jets it currently flies on short- and medium-haul routes. Costs per seat will drop by more than 10 per cent as a result, Air France-KLM added.Toulouse, France-based Airbus is coming off a successful Paris Air Show for the A220, having secured additional orders from U.S. carriers Delta Air Lines and JetBlue. Leasing specialists Air Lease Corp. and Nordic Capital also committed to buying the aircraft.Airbus inherited Bombardier’s Mirabel facilities last year when it took control of the Montreal-based company’s C Series program. About 2,500 employees now work on the A220 in Mirabel, up from about 2,200 a year ago.Related