In a report published by Air Data News (www.airdatanews.com) top aviation journalist Ricardo Meier questioned whether Airbus will ditch the A220-500 in favour of a new variant known as the A221. The whole hulabaloo has been created after an interview published by The Air Current with the CEO of Commercial Aviation at Airbus, Christian Scherer who was the first to make reference to the A221.
The Airbus A221 is envisaged as a 170-seater in standard configuration and thus able to accomodate 20 more passengers than the current A220-300. The aircraft manufacturer is likely to develop a new wing for the aforementioned variant together with other engine options besides what is offered till now on the A220. In his article Ricardo Meier suggests Airbus might certify the A221 to be equipped with the CFM LEAP besides the current Pratt & Whitney GTF.
Industry observers believe that the A221 with 170 seats and a range of 3500 nautical miles would now go head to head with the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737MAX. Would the launch of the A221 cannibalize the market of the A320neo?