Montreal - Airbus thinks the demand for the 100 to 150-seat narrow-body jets in Russia is significant. The European Aerospace giant is also confident that the A220 family jets will become popular amongst the Russian operators after certified by the country's civil aviation regulator Rosavitsiya.
Airbus believes the A220 will be certified in Russia before the year-end.
"The work is in progress. We are in close cooperation with the Russian aviation authorities who are providing us with complete support in all certification matters,” Airbus told Russian aviation portal ATO.ru.
The first aircraft to be certified is the Airbus A220's larger -300 variant. Rosaviatsiya confirmed the certification application by the European aircraft manufacturer.
Besides the A220, Pratt & Whitney's PW1500G geared turbofan, which powers the A220s, will also be included in the certification process.
Earlier this year, Transport Canada and Rosaviatsiya reached an agreement to facilitate the introduction of the Airbus A220s in the Russian market.
“This technical arrangement makes it possible for Russian and Canadian aviation authorities to validate approval documents on aircraft, regulates post-certification activities and airworthiness directives,” Rosaviatsiya explained.
According to the Airbus’s latest annual forecast, demand for 100 to 150-seat narrow-body jets in Russia and the CIS countries could reach 1,000 within the next two decades.
“Logically, some part of this demand will be covered by the A220. We are confident that this aircraft family may be of interest to Russian customers,” Airbus said.
airBaltic is currently the only Airbus A220 operator in the region with 19 copies. The Latvian carrier's fleet is expected to reach 80 A220-300 in five years.
airBaltic Airbus A220-300 (Former Bombardier CS-300)
The Russian regional carrier Red Wings had plans to become the launch customer for the type in Russia, but opted-out for the Russian-made SSJ100 with "recommendation" of the federal government.
The list prices of the A220s are USD $81 million and USD $91.5 million for the -100 and -300 variants respectively. The aircraft competes with the Embraer's new generation E190-E2 and E195-E2 jets and the 737 MAX 7, the shortest variant of the Boeing's MAX series jets.
The E190-E2 is the only new generation small narrow-body jet operated in the CIS region. Kazakh airline Air Astana operates three of them.
As of the end of May, Airbus's backlog comprises 530, A220.