The first Airbus A220 jet assembled at the Mobile, Alabama, plant carried its maiden flight. The aircraft is destined for US carrier Delta Air Lines.
The flight marks a remarkable milestone for Airbus. The European planemaker has begun to assemble A220s in the US in 2019. Airbus also assembles A320 family jets in Mobile.
Airbus acquired the majority stake in Bombardier’s A220 program in 2018. The program, which was known as Bombardier CSeries, ran into some marketing problems due to the tariffs imposed by the US authorities. Boeing had filed a complaint about Bombardier claiming unfair government subsidies. Bombardier and Airbus finalised the sale of the program in July 2018.
The Mobile plant was first established by Airbus to bypass US tariffs on A220 imports, but the tariff was lifted by a higher American court in 2018. JetBlue is another American carrier that expects to receive A220 jets assembled in Alabama. The airline has 70 A220-300 variants on order from Airbus.
Delta is the only Airbus A220 operator in the US with 31 A220-100s in service. The carrier will take delivery of 64 A220s over time, including 14 A220-100s and 50 A220-300s.