Northern Ireland

Air France: Northern Ireland to benefit from Airbus A220s purchase

The A220 was formerly known as the Bombardier C Series before Airbus acquired a majority stake in the project Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The A220 was formerly known as the Bombardier C Series before Airbus acquired a majority stake in the project

Air France is to buy 60 Airbus A220s, the wings of which are made in Northern Ireland.

The airline has also taken options which could see its order rise to 120.

Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said it was "an honour" for the company that a long-standing customer had endorsed the A220.

About 1,000 staff work at the A220 wing factory at Bombardier in east Belfast. The company has seen hundreds of job losses in recent years.

Air France said the planes would enable it to operate more efficiently on its short and medium-haul routes.

The first aircraft should be delivered in September 2021.

Benjamin Smith, Chief Executive of the Air France-KLM Group, said the A220 fleet would significantly reduce the company's CO2 and noise emissions.

The A220 was formerly the Bombardier C Series until Airbus bought a majority share in the project in 2017.

Airbus said there is now an order book for 551 A220s.

Earlier this month, a team of Belfast aerospace designers won a top engineering award for their work on the A220.

The Bombardier working group received the Royal Academy of Engineering's MacRobert Award for its resin-infused advanced composite aircraft wing.

More on this story