The Airbus A220 Could be the Perfect Aircraft


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Thomas Coder, Staff Writer

Current commercial airliners are undoubtedly moving away from jumbo jets. Many already have plans for the retirement and or disassembly of multiple 747s and A380s. Smaller, quicker, and more fuel-efficient planes are now the ideal method of travel for airliners. This is all started when airliners switched their methods from the hub and spoke model to the point to point model. The hub and spoke model revolves around an airliner sending the majority of their flights out of 2-3 airports. An A380 or 747 fits this because the hubs chosen were major airports, so the giant double-decker plane would be able to fill up since a large number of people would be going to major airports. The only problem with this was that the quad engine planes were expensive to operate because they were not fuel efficient, and the planes would rarely fill with passengers. Passengers also favored direct flights instead of transferring at a major hub. The point to point model soon became the preferred method of travel because it was cheaper for airliners. Landing fees, taxi fees, and terminal fees would be cut in half with the point to point model. It also made trips for passengers significantly faster. The point to point model is when an airliner has a few small aircraft at a large variety of airports, usually small airports. The point to point model has only direct flights as well, hence less money paid to airports for landing fees (you are landing a plane once, not twice) and only paying for one terminal to board and let passengers, not paying for two. The 737 and 787 are two other aircraft’s that until now, have been perfect for point to point flying. The Airbus A220 has the capability to fly transatlantic, reach any destination in the US, or any destination in Europe. It is still small enough to legally land at regional airports as well, where planes like the 737 or 787 cannot legally land at. Another benefit of the A220 is that it still could fit the hub to spoke system, should an airliner want to get rid of all their 747s or A380s. The A220 is wide, and it can be configured in many different ways. If the entire plane was filled with economy class seats, it could hold roughly 200 passengers. Overall, as airliners tend to support direct, fuel-efficient flights to regional airports, the A220 will definitely come into consideration by them. The title of this article says “could” because it is still too early to know if this will be the aircraft of choice. It could be too small, or not as fuel efficient for an airliner’s preferred configuration.