Airbus’s A220 Jet Suffers Blow After Canadian Order Cancellation

Airbus SE’s A220 jetliner program suffered the biggest setback since the start of the coronavirus crisis as Air Canada canceled orders for 12 aircraft to conserve cash.

The carrier will also defer the handover of the remaining 18 A220s it had been due to receive in 2021 and 2022, according to an earnings filing Monday, though it expects to take delivery of five of the type this quarter.

The announcement comes as a particular blow since the A220 is a Canadian aircraft, designed and launched by Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. before being sold to European rival Airbus. The modest size of the A220, closer to a regional jet than many airliners, had also been expected to help the model ride out the pandemic relatively unscathed.

“We are working very closely with all our customers, and in particular with Air Canada, as we navigate through the crisis, to be ready for when traffic does return,” Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath said.

Macquarie Financial Holdings had previously scrapped orders for six A220s, including three planes struck from Airbus’s backlog last month.

Air Canada also canceled orders for 10 Boeing Co. 737 Max jets. Overall, it aims to trim capital spending by C$3 billion ($2.3 billion) through 2023.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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