Airbus is "likely" to develop a larger derivative of its A220 in the coming years – but only after the company has ramped up production and the aircraft has secured a firm place in the global aviation market.
"It's very likely that… once the A220 has done the ramp up, is economically viable [and] then we can further invest, that this is going to happen," Airbus president of commercial aircraft Guillaume Faury tells reporters on 16 January. "Once this success is on track, it would be time for looking at what we do for the product.
"We are not there yet," he adds. "We see the very strong potential." Industry observers have suggested such an aircraft would be called the A220-500.
Faury made his comments in Mobile as Airbus prepared to host an event marking the start of construction of Airbus's A220 Mobile assembly site.
Speculation had long swirled that the A220's previous owner Bombardier might develop a larger version of the aircraft then called the CSeries. The line-up includes the A220-100, which can carry up to 135 seats, and the A220-300, which can accommodate up to 160 passengers. Bombardier always denied those suggestions.