A test version of the of the Airbus A350 XWB was in Atlanta a part of a five city tour. Delta will take delivery of their Airbus A350 XWB planes in 2017.
Delta, the second-largest airline in the world, says the new jets will be “highly fuel-efficient,” and Airbus says the A220 will set “a new standard in short-haul flying,” according to written statements.
The airline announced Wednesday it is increasing its order of A220s to 90 from its original order of 75 in 2016. Delta is also upgrading to the larger A220-300 model for the new orders and converting a portion of its previous orders to the larger model, for a total order of 50 A220-300s. The other 40 orders will be for A220-100s.
The larger A220-300s with 130 seats will be assembled at an Airbus facility in Mobile, Ala. Construction of the plant next to existing A320 production lines will start later this month. Delta said it expects to take delivery of its first A220-300 in 2020 and get all 90 A220s by the end of 2023.
On Wednesday, Airbus also announced its first job openings for manufacturing positions for the new A220 production line in Mobile. The jobs include openings for aircraft structure/installation mechanics, installers for aircraft cabin furnishings and aircraft electricians.
Airbus said it is also hiring for A320 production and expects to hire a total of about 600 new employees in the next year and a half.
The A220 was initially developed by Bombardier and was previously known as the C Series CS100, before a tariff dispute broke out with Boeing.
In the middle of the dispute, Airbus acquired a majority interest in the C Series business and announced plans to eventually open a final assembly facility for the plane in Mobile.
The Trump administration had proposed tariffs of more than 200 percent, but the U.S. International Trade Commission ended up overturning the tariffs on Montreal-based Bombardier.