Delta Air Lines’ Airbus A220 makes its first flight

Delta Air Lines’ first Airbus A220 took off on its maiden flight over the skies of Quebec on Saturday.

The aircraft, which departed from the A220 assembly line facility near Montreal, was flown by A220 program test pilots on a two-hour, 53-minute flight. Crews checked the aircraft’s main systems before returning to Mirabel, Quebec, according to Airbus.

The A220, which was known as the “Bombardier CSeries” until it was rebranded in July, is likely to begin flying for Delta in early 2019.

The A220-100 variant bound for Delta will now undergo a series of flight tests before the first delivery to the carrier, which is likely to come early next year.

Delta is the first U.S. Carrier to order the jet. Delta’s order for at least 75 of the aircraft threw a lifeline to the then-struggling CSeries. Airbus has since taken a majority stake in the aircraft line, which precipitated the new name.

Delta will become the first U.S. Carrier to operate the A220 and the fourth worldwide. Swiss International Air Lines, AirBaltic and Korean Air already are A220 customers.

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