A220 C Series, potential orders at Le Bourget

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The 53rd edition of the Paris Air Show will certainly not go down in history for order records. If the year 2019 is one of the quietest orders side, there are still some airlines that are looking for aircraft in the category of 100 to 150 passengers including three in particular.

Spirit Airlines

It’s been a good year since the US LCC evaluated an order of a hundred arcraft to support its growth. The airline said recently that it had dismissed Embraer’s E2 rating and that the B737MAX, A329NEO and A220 remained in the race.

The Spirit Airlines fleet currently has about 135 aircraft all in the A320 family; Airbus therefore has a big advantage over Boeing especially that Spirit looks for aircraft of less than 150 passengers with a good range for smaller markets. Spirit can be expected to order 50 A220-300s and 50 A320NEOs and A321NEOs, unless it opts for A321LRs or XLRs to test the transatlantic market.

BA City Lines

BA City Lines is a regional subsidiary of British Airways and operates a fleet of 7 E-175 and 19 E 195. IAG (the parent company of BA City Lines and British Airways) is about to take a decision on the replacement of these 26 aircraft. IAG would become the fourth airline to make the decision to scrap E-Jet that are not ten years old, which says a lot about the high operating cost of these aircraft. The E2-190 and the A220-100 would be under consideration and Airbus will certainly want to take advantage of the fact that the takeover of E2 by Boeing is not completed to grab this other order.

Air France

France’s flagship carrier is currently evaluating the replacement of its fleet of single-aisle aircraft, including approximately 45 aircraft of the size of the A220. Of the three potential buyers, it is probably the one who is least advanced in his decision. In addition, the anti-aircraft campaign in Europe as made a lot of adept and especially in France. Green MPs even want to make regulations prohibiting regional flights where there are train services. Regional flights between Paris and the cities of Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille for example would be prohibited. Even if this regulation is rejected, Air France will probably want to wait to see if the anti-aircraft movement is still growing or is running out of steam before placing an order for single-aisle aircraft.Any new A220 order from the big three US companies: American, Delta and United would be a big surprise but not impossible. In the last two years, many aerospace observer regretted saying impossible, so who knows. 

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