Delta Air Lines’ newest aircraft type – the Airbus A220 – rolled out of a Quebec paint shop with a Delta paint scheme for the first time Thursday evening.
The aircraft, known as the "Bombardier CSeries" until it was rebranded in July, is expected to begin flying for Delta in early 2019.
Delta says the A220 painting process took nine days, 200 rolls of masking tape and 165 gallons of paint to complete.
“There’s nothing like seeing years of planning come together in the shape of a freshly painted aircraft,” Larry Cato, a program manager on Delta’s Fleet Management team, said in a statement. “It’s a major milestone for the future of our fleet.”
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The next stop for the plane unveiled Thursday is a trip to final assembly in Mirabel, Quebec, near Montreal. It will then begin flight-testing later this fall.
Delta is the first U.S. carrier to order the jet. Delta’s order for at least 75 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.
“It’s a tremendous feeling of accomplishment to know we just outfitted North America’s first A220 from tail to tip,” Julie Léveillé, an Airbus supervisor in the Mirabel paint shop, added in Delta’s statement. “I’ve been working in the paint shop for 15 years. It can be a challenging job, but seeing the finished product makes it worth it.”
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