Ethiopian Defers A220 Decision Following C Series Acquisition by Airbus
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August 20, 2018 - by Kaleyesus Bekele 12:01PM for AINonline
Ethiopian Airlines has suspended its planned order for at least 20 examples of the former Bombardier C Series following Airbus's acquisition and renaming of the program now known as the A220.
The airline engaged in an evaluation of the former Bombardier program for more than two years. However, now that the European airframer controls the program's marketing, Ethiopian has decided to wait to gain a better understanding of Airbus's plans.
"The C series is a very good airplane. We have been evaluating it for a long time," Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told AIN. "Our engineers, pilots, technicians, and economists have studied the aircraft and confirmed that it is fit for purpose for our mission especially in the 100-seat category."
But just as Ethiopian concluded its evaluation, Airbus acquired the majority of the program and renamed the aircraft the A220. "The new owner has a new marketing strategy," said GebreMariam. "Thus we decided to give it time and see how the process is going to evolve." The chief executive did not say whether or not pricing played into the decision to wait.