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Air Canada studies dozens of potential A220 routes

Air Canada has disclosed several dozen routes on which it might deploy new Airbus A220s, which are expected to come online in January 2020.

The routes span North America and originate from major Canadian cities of Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, according to a map displayed on 14 January by Air Canada vice-president of network planning Mark Galardo.

Galardo, speaking during a media event at Airbus's A220 assembly site in Mirabel, notes that the routes are only under study and that Air Canada has not made final decisions.

But among them are several that would be new to Air Canada's network, including Montreal-Seattle, Halifax-Vancouver, Toronto-Monterrey (Mexico) and Vancouver-Washington, DC.

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Routes described in a presentation by Air Canada's Galardo as "A220-300 possible destinations"

Air Canada has orders for 45 A220-300s. It expects to take delivery of its first aircraft in late 2019 and to place the first aircraft into revenue service in January 2020, Galardo says.

He also addressed Air Canada's decision to buy the aircraft, saying the move reflects the A220s unmatched economics and a desire to help a struggling fellow Canadian aerospace company.

"The decision to purchase the A220 was a result of an extensive network and finance-led analysis and involved many branches of our company," says Galardo. "Although it was a very sound business decision… our choice of the A220 was also based on our desire to support a national fellow aviation champion."

"We felt our order, from a major North American carrier, would be taken as a vote of confidence, and stabilise the programme," adds Galardo.

Air Canada agreed to purchase 45 A220-300s (then called CS300s) in February 2016, a time when then-owner Bombardier badly needed a major customer.

Air Canada's order injected momentum into the programme and was followed shortly by an order from Delta Air Lines for 75 A220-100s.

Galardo says Air Canada's A220s will be 15% cheaper to operate per seat than the Embraer 190s they will replace.

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