Qantas Takes Delivery Of First Airbus A220

Daniel Fowkes
16 Dec 2023
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Qantas' first Airbus A220 wearing a special livery departs from Montreal on a test flight

The Qantas Group has taken delivery of its first Airbus A220 as part of a new era of single-aisle operations across Australia.

Delivery was celebrated at Airbus’ facility in Mirabel, with a delivery flight towards Sydney in the coming days.

Due to the long distance the A220 is forced to travel, the type will make several stopovers across the Pacific. Airbus and Qantas say this will occur in Vancouver, Honolulu and Nadi before finally touching down in Sydney, Australia.

Once in Australia, the aircraft and crew slated to call the aircraft home will undergo a familiarisation period before scheduled operations begin.

Introducing The Airbus A220 At Qantas

Qantas will configure its Airbus A220s into a two-class layout to optimise the leisure and business traffic that’ll board the type.

A total of 10 business class seats will be featured at the front of the plane, with 127 in economy behind this. New seats and enhancements represent a substantial upgrade on the previous generation aircraft.

Qantas’ first Airbus A220 has a unique livery slotting into the Flying Art series. This longstanding initiative by Qantas has stretched from the A220 to the 787, 737 and 747 and aims to highlight Aboriginal artwork and culture within Australian society.

The scheme features strong tones of green in a shift from Qantas’ typical red flying kangaroo. Airbus says that around 100 painters were involved in the effort to complete the livery. Additionally, painters worked with more than 130 stencils to replicate the detailed design.

The livery features over 20,000 dots, and Airbus calls this the most complex livery they’ve worked on, with the paint job taking two weeks to complete.

The Airbus A220 has been designed to slot into the 100-150 segment and compete directly with Embraer aircraft. The A220 can fly up to 6,390 kilometres without stopping, opening up several enticing possibilities for the Australian flag carrier.

Thus far, the European plane maker says it has received nearly 850 orders from 30 customers worldwide. However, interest in the program continues as the type proves to be a reliable option for airlines’ single-aisle operations.

Qantas Replaces The 717 With The A220

Qantas Group will deploy the Airbus A220 to its regional division, QantasLink. Additionally, as part of plans to introduce the A220, QantasLink will say goodbye to the 717.

The Boeing 717 has operated for a multi-decade period and has been essential to QantasLink’s operations across Australia. However, removing the type will allow for the introduction of a new and improved aircraft type.

Additionally, the Airbus A220 comes with a 25% reduction in fuel consumption alongside aircraft emissions. The A220 comes with enhanced range capabilities, meaning that Qantas can deploy the type across new routes.

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