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Delta Air Lines Extending Airbus A220 Orders

Delta Air Lines Airbus A220-300

Delta Air Lines has announced that it will extend its orders for the Airbus A220 by 15 additional airplanes. The change means that Delta will eventually take delivery of 90 A220s.

In addition to the additional airplanes Delta has also said that it will be changing the mix of variants of the A220 it will be taking delivery of. The airline previously had orders only for the smaller -100 variant, which seats 109 passengers.

Delta Air Lines planned Airbus A220 fleet will now consist of 40 of the smaller -100 variant and 50 of the larger -300 variant. The Airbus A220-300 will seat 130 passengers and Delta expects delivery of it in 2020.

It is planned that Delta Air Lines will take delivery of all Airbus A220s by the end of 2023.

“These additional A220 aircraft will continue to strategically enable Delta to refresh our fleet, drive further advances in the customer experience and serve as an excellent investment for our customers, employees and shareowners for Delta into the next decade,” said Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer. “We look forward to taking our first A220-300 in 2020 at the Airbus assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama.”

Delta has already taken delivery of their first A220 and is planning the first revenue flight in service for it to take place at the end of January.

Delta Air Lines is undertaking a narrow body fleet modernization to replace less efficient airplanes with newer airplanes. In their narrow body fleet the carrier will be taking deliveries of B737-900ERs, Airbus A321 and A321neo’s, as well as the smaller A220s.

Airbus A220 Is a Unique Class of Airplane

The Airbus A220 defines its own class due to its unique combination of size, range, and operating cost. Though the airplane is a smaller narrow body airliner it is capable of flying up to 3,300 nm.

The A220 is 2,500 lighter than comparable conventional airplanes due to the use of weight saving aluminum-lithium for the fuselage and resin-transfer-infused carbon fiber for the wing.

The Airbus A220 is the first airliner to use the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan which features a large diameter fan that turns slower due to a 3:1 reduction gearbox between the turbine engine core and fan.

The airplanes interior is 2 by 3 seating wide in economy class with cabin noise being among the lowest in the industry.

“Delta has always been deeply focused on the passenger experience, and the A220 fits perfectly with that philosophy,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “You just need to take a look at Delta’s cabin on the A220 to see it’s setting a new standard in short-haul flying. The A220 will provide passengers with a level of comfort and convenience that makes flying a pleasure again, while meeting Delta’s high standards for efficiency and reliability.”

Delta A220 Pilot Jobs

Delta Air Lines Airbus A220

Even though the A220 is an exciting new airplane it will likely be available to junior pilots. Aircraft type is determined by a bidding system where senior pilots get first pick and it then trickles down in choices through the seniority system until all pilots are assigned an airplane type.

The A220 is a smaller narrow body and has a lower pay scale than other airplanes in Delta’s fleet.

An additional deciding choice for pilots is the quality of life an airplane type can provide them. Some airplane types will have better schedules available that will have pilots home more often. The airplane types that average longer flights typically provide the better schedules while airplanes that fly shorter routes have less desirable schedules.

The A220 has the capability to fly longer routes, however, Delta’s initial plans show them not using the airplane’s range capacity. Time will tell how the airplane eventually fits into the airlines route structure.

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Delta Air Lines A220 Hourly Pay Scale

YearA220-300 CaptainA220-100 CaptainA220-300 First OfficerA220-100 First Officer

Greg started his professional pilot journey in 2002 after graduating from Embry Riddle. Since that time he has accumulated over 8,000 hours working as a pilot. Greg’s professional experience includes flight instructing, animal tracking, backcountry flying, forest firefighting, passenger charter, part 135 cargo, flying for a regional airline, a national low cost airline, a legacy airline, and also working as a manager in charge of Part 135 and Part 121 training programs.

Greg Thomson