APEX Insight: This morning, Airbus announced that the C Series program will now be known as the A220. APEX Media was at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse to find out if the rebrand could bring more than just a change of name.
Airbus today unveiled new branding and a new name for the C Series at an event at its Toulouse headquarters, following its acquisition of a majority stake in the program earlier this month. From now on, the C Series narrow-body jets will be branded as the Airbus A220. But besides the new name, is anything else changing and will passengers notice a difference?
“In terms of passenger experience it is going to be seamless. The C Series is already exceptional,” – Christine De Gagne, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
Christine De Gagne, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s manger of Cabin Marketing made it clear that, at least to start with, the passenger experience probably won’t change. “In terms of passenger experience it is going to be seamless. The C Series is already exceptional,” she told APEX Media.
The aircraft already delivers more than one window at each row, seats with at least 18 inches of width and overhead bins with the largest stowage capacity in their class. Still, even as the aircraft keeps true to its roots, De Gagne hinted at some alignment with the Airspace by Airbus branding that will help bring the newest member of the Airbus family more tightly into the fold.
“When you’re in a family you share a common character and similar traits,” – Christine De Gagne, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
The initial push for the A220 product line is to cut costs and improve production rates, steps necessary to bring stability and future sales. Some of the passenger touchpoints could see adjustments as a result. As De Gagne explains, “When you’re in a family you share a common character and similar traits. It is in our plan to look into Airspace and to make the cabin a true family fit.”
Some of that commonality exists today. De Gagne highlights the similarly wide seats, higher window per row count and lighting options as a few areas where the C Series shares similarities with other Airbus aircraft. Indeed, she suggested that the C Series could easily be mistaken for a “baby A350” in some ways, and that airlines and passengers already realize the benefits of the aircraft. “The crew really noticed that their passengers are much calmer. When your seat is wider you can move. You’re not stuck, you’re not compressed, you’re not stressed,” De Gagne said.
In the longer term, De Gagne said the A220 will be increasingly aligned with the Airspace family through cabin design.
“There will be a common design language. We want something that feels seamless and you want to bring some character to the cabin design and signature items such as the bin latch. We’ll try to target little pieces that will remind passengers or the airline that C Series is the little brother of the A320 family but also fits in the overall family because Airspace covers the whole [Airbus product line].”