Here's the Airplane You'll Be Flying in After Coronavirus
This sleek new jet will rule the sky when you can travel again.
The friendly skies have gotten a lot lonelier these past few months. Airlines have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, departures have dropped to a record low, with the number of flights down 82 percent compared to this time last year. And while airlines have grounded many of their planes, there is one specific aircraft that has weathered the storm: the Airbus A220.
Formerly the Bombardier C-Series, this narrow-body jet is smaller and costs less to operate, but it can still fly the same distance—if not farther—than bigger planes like Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s. (The tiniest A220s, for example, can fly 100 miles further than A320s.) The planes are also more eco-friendly, boasting fuel-efficient engines and decreased emissions. This is perfect for airlines that are running reduced routes with fewer passengers during the pandemic.
Travelers, meanwhile, will love cruising through the clouds in their spacious seats. Instead of packing people in like sardines, the sleek new jet can fit 130-140 seats in its A220-300 model and around 110 seats in the A220-100, which is a drastic difference compared to rival aircrafts that squish in 160-plus passengers. (Let's face it, nobody wants to be that close to their neighbor, pandemic or not.)
Featuring five chairs per row—three on one side, two on the other—the A220s have wider economy seats with more legroom to stretch out. Delta's A220s, for instance, have the widest main cabin seats in the carrier's entire fleet.
Another perk? The aisles and overhead compartments are larger (so long, suitcase struggles!), and the in-cabin noise level has been cut in half, meaning you'll actually be able to sleep easy at 30,000 feet.
The A220's success is clear: Though Delta has parked more than half of its fleet in the wake of the pandemic, all 31 of its A220s have remained fully operational. Similarly, JetBlue, Swiss, and Air Canada are planning on expanding their A220 fleets while Latvia's AirBaltic will be the first all-A220 carrier in the world.
"When we come out of the other side of this, we continue to be excited about the A220s and the benefit that they can bring to JetBlue," JetBlue Chief Financial Officer Steve Priest recently said. "The economics of this aircraft are spectacular, and I'm pleased to have them."
So, the next time you see a jet stream in the sky, you can bet it was from this popular plane. And for more ways the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we travel, check out the 13 Things You May Never See on Airplanes Again After Coronavirus.