TOULOUSEThe European airframer Airbus is gearing up to increase the range of the A220-300 this year by increasing the aircraft's MTOW (maximum take-off weight) around 1t.

The modification will take the MTOW of the -300, the larger of the A220 family, to 70.9t from the current 69.9t and will provide 200nm additional range.

The manufacturer managed to extract the extra performance from the -300 following earlier work, disclosed in May 2019, to raise the MTOW of both the A220-100 and -300 by 2.3t.

The new design will take the aircraft’s weight to the limit and certify the MTOW at the higher figure of 70.9t.

Airbus will make the further MTOW increase on the -300 available from the middle of 2021 for line-fit, and it will also be a retrofit option – via a service bulletin – for all previously-produced -300s. There is no physical modification, just a “paper change”, so a customer can decide “at relatively the last minute” whether it wants the upgrade.

Airbus has been gradually refining the A220 since taking over the program, formerly known as the CSeries, from Bombardier in July 2018.