A few days after Bombardier/Airbus revealed Delta’s first A220 aircraft from the paint hangar, it has taken to the skies on its first flight. On Saturday, BBA510, or Bombardier Aerospace 510, left Montréal–Mirabel International Airport at 2:02 PM local time for a brief test flight over the greater Montreal region. After ascending up to 20,000 feet, the aircraft, which has the tail number of N101DU, successfully landed at around 4 PM local time.
BBA510 will be the first aircraft to be delivered under the new joint Bombardier and Airbus joint partnership. Airbus and Bombardier entered into an agreement to jointly produce and market a new version the latter manufacturer’s C series of regional aircraft. After the contract was ratified in July of this year, Airbus officially renamed the airframe the Airbus A220, though manufacturing will still take place at Bombardier’s facilities in Canada. Already, JetBlue, Delta and a spate of international carriers have ordered blocks of the aircraft. Delta’s are expected later this year and will go into service in 2019 while JetBlue will begin to accept aircraft in 2020.
Delta’s A220 is said to replace a host of smaller, less-comfortable aircraft that are currently in service at the carrier. According to Flightglobal, Joe Esposito, senior vice-president of network planning at Delta suggests that the new fleet will take over on the carrier’s “longest haul” regional routes, putting many of the older Embraer and Bombardier jets out of service. The silver lining to flying a smaller regional jet, for many, may thus be that the smaller regional jet is new.