Everything You Need to Know about Air Canada’s Airbus A220

The latest jet to join the Air Canada fleet is super–efficient, ultramodern and totally homegrown. This marvel of Canadian aerospace design and engineering is the Airbus A220, born in Mirabel, Quebec, and formerly known as the Bombardier C Series. Air Canada will be the first North American carrier to operate the Airbus A220–300 – the larger of two variants. More routes are possible thanks to the aircraft’s incredible range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,926 kilometres). Our first A220s are now in service, and will be flying new Montreal–Seattle and Toronto–San Jose, California, routes starting in May.

This jetliner is 20 percent more fuel efficient per seat than comparable aircraft, partly because the engines use a fan–drive gear system that spins the front–engine fans three times slower than the compressor and turbine. The use of lightweight aluminum–lithium alloy for the main body and carbon fibre in the wings also helps make the A220 much less thirsty for fuel.

January 20, 2020
An illustration of an Air Canada Airbus a220 on a serving tray

For pilots, the A220 incorporates the best features of modern airliners: The unique Airbus flight–control side stick, or joystick, controls the up and down motion, as well as the ailerons and spoilers which turn, or bank, the airplane. Also included are a futuristic Heads–up Display that pulls down in front of the main flight–deck window, and the electronic checklists already familiar to Air Canada pilots of the Boeing 787.

I wish I had a chance to fly it. Air Canada pilots are trained on only one aircraft, whereas all flight attendants have added the new jet to their list. Some 160 pilots will be flying our A220s during peak summer season, delivering you to destinations across North America.

An illustration of an Airbuss A220's heads-up display, composite wings, engine and side stick

Inside the Innovative Airbus A220

  1. Heads–up display This transparent screen shows airspeed, altitude and a horizon line, so pilots can maintain line of sight.

  2. Composite wings Super–strong carbon fibre is at the core of this ultralight single–piece construction.

  3. Engine Geared turbofans make the Pratt & Whitney engines quieter and more efficient.

  4. Side stick Combined flight controls for pitch and banking are located beside the pilot.

Cabin Comforts

  • 50 Keep it down back there: The Airbus A220’s noise footprint is about 50% that of previous–generation aircraft.

  • 137 The total number of passengers that can fly in Air Canada’s new A220. There are 12 seats in a 2–2 Business Class configuration and 125 in a 3–2 layout in Economy.

  • 26 The A220’s expanded passenger windows are 26 percent larger than those on other aircraft in its class.

Portrait of Air Canada's Captain Doug Morris
Photo: Reynard Li

Doug Morris is an author, meteorologist, instructor and Air Canada captain on the Boeing 787.