Story By: Edward Kerns II
Photos By: Edward Kerns II
New York, NY–
On February 7, 2019 Delta Air Lines made aviation history in North America by welcoming the Airbus A220-100 for passenger service. Originally designated the C Series (CS-100) by Bombardier, the designation was changed when Airbus assumed control over the plane program in October of 2018. The deal between Bombardier and Airbus was struck after the U.S International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Bombardier stating that Boeing didn’t offer a competitive aircraft and therefore wouldn’t harm American Industry. What’s so special about this aircraft you ask? We’ll showcase the inaugural event that was held for the first commercial flight of the Delta A220 in North America, the ins and outs and Delta’s plans for the future of the aircraft.
The adventure started as an extremely early and rainy morning in New York City. After making it through the on-going modernization of La Guardia Airport I arrived at Terminal C and Delta’s Check-in Counter. As always, I was greeted with a smile by the Ticket Agent even at four in the morning. Walking past shops and restaurants that were starting to open their doors for the day I arrive at Gate C38 for Delta Air Lines Flight 744 Shuttle Service from La Guardia to Boston. There’s hustle and bustle as the caterer is finishes up its final touches on the pre-flight breakfast, the audio/visual team preps the stage and the flight crew arriving for their historic day. Starting at 5 A.M. sharp Chuck Imhof (VP-New York and Sales East) and Ginny Elliot (Managing Director-La Guardia Operations) were on hand to celebrate the launch of the first passenger flight on the state-of-the-art, experience-rich Airbus A220-100. Gate Agents Kimberlee and Jasmelly greeted everyone with smiles and laughs as they announced boarding zones and scanned tickets for the Inaugural. The Delta Flight Crew were Captain Geoffrey Brock, Captain Jack Polo, Lead Flight Attendant Teandra, Palmer, David & Nicole. The pilots had to have a minimum of 1,000 hours of flight time before their big day!
Upon entering the A220-100 (Registration #: N102DU) for the first time, Bombardier left it’s namesake for the aircraft “C-Series” at the entrance of the aircraft. The flight attendants and the full-spectrum LED ambient lighting welcomed everyone on board for the first time. There are many great features for this aircraft and two are noticeable as you walk to your seat, a wider aisle and high-capacity overhead bins. The aircraft boast a total of 109 seats with 12 in First Class, 15 in Delta Confort+ and 82 in Main Cabin.
Another great feature for those in Main Cabin & Delta Comfort+ is the seats are 18.6 inches wide and in a two-three configuration, the widest seat in all of Delta’s Fleet. As for legroom; Main Cabin offers 32”, Delta Comfort+ 34” and First Class with 37”. First Class is the only cabin in a two-two configuration on this aircraft. Everyone has complimentary premium access to Delta’s entertainment located on their seat-back screens and for those seated at the window will immediately notice the larger windows! Outside of our window at the adjacent gate was Delta’s N104DU and would operate the other A220 Inaugural Flight from LGA to DFW. For those that require a connection in the air Gogo’s 2Ku Wi-Fi worked without a hitch!
The main exterior feature is the two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. These engines provide a seventy-five percent reduction in the noise footprint, which means a more peaceful and relaxing journey onboard. They are also twenty percent more fuel efficient, offer double-digit improvement in operating cost and a range of 3,400 miles.
Delta’s A220 takes advantage of advanced technology and composite materials designed to deliver considerable improvements in fuel efficiency. It’s delivery is the latest investment in a fleet modernization program that aims to replace twenty percent of older less-efficient aircraft by 2020. The current and planned 2019 routes for the aircraft are: LGA-BOS, LGA-DFW (In Operation), DTW-DFW (March), LGA-IAH (April), SLC-DFW (May), MSP-DFW (June), IAH-DTW/MSP (July), IAH-SLC (July) and JFK-DFW (August). Delta currently has ninety A220’s on order, with a plan for forty A220-100’s and fifty of the larger A220-300 variant. The A220-300 is expected to arrive in 2020.
Even though this was a short and early morning flight from La Guardia to Boston, the excitement never wore off as we arrived at the gate and began to deplane. For those with future flight plans or looking for an aircraft that offers more amenities when soaring through the sky will definitely want to add the Delta A220 to their list. The Delta Air Lines A220 has owned up to its many expectations and will be a much welcomed addition to the entire Delta Fleet. We look forward to covering and filling in the all the details when Delta debuts the A220-300 in 2020! Happy Flying!