Delta Air Lines scored a particularly early arrival this month. Not only is Delta’s newest plane nearly six months early off the assembly line, the airline also appears to have one nearly ready to enter service.
The airline’s news hub posted a video of a brand new Airbus A220 undergoing livery painting. A Flickr photograph shows the next generation jet decked out in Delta colors.
“The painting process took nine days, 200 rolls of masking tape and 165 gallons of paint to complete.”
CEO Ed Bastian told analysts just two months ago that he didn’t expect the new jets to show up until the end of the year, with service beginning in early 2019. With the new bird now in the shed in 3Q, there’s a chance Delta flyers may step aboard this new addition even sooner. Delta hasn’t released a specific start date for the A220.
Delta’s press release last week listed “early 2019” as a launch date for the new jet.
The new airplanes will be a tremendous upgrade over whatever domestic aircraft they replace. The heavily carbon-fiber-reinforced composite planes feature engineering advancements previously used on larger jets like Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350.
The jet is small for an airliner, seating roughly 110 passengers, but will have transatlantic range.
Delta is hosting a media preview of the new plane on Oct. 18, and SkyMiles members can bid on a chance to attend.
We still don’t have any photographs of Delta’s A220 interior, but the planes will be outfitted with much preferable two-three seating in economy class, leaving just a single column of middle seats to fret over.
Check out my review of a SWISS International Air Lines A220, previously sold under the Bombardier C Series 100 badge, flown on a Zürich to Paris flight this past January.