The major airframe components, including the center and rear fuselage, are currently being assembled at Airbus’ production facility in Mirabel, Canada. The initial delivery of 29 A220s is expected to reach Australia before the year’s end.
Qantas First A220 Enters Production
This introduction will mark the first time the A220 operates in Australia, following regulatory approvals, airport readiness, and training activities. QantasLink, a subsidiary of Qantas, has already initiated pilot training for the new aircraft.
The cutting-edge A220s will gradually replace QantasLink’s existing Boeing 717 fleet. This 717 presently serves various routes across Australia.
The maiden QantasLink A220 will operate flights between Melbourne and Canberra. Further, the aircraft are being deployed to other regional and domestic destinations.
With double the range of the 717, the A220 is poised to open up new domestic and short-haul international routes as additional units join the fleet.
As production ramps up, the Qantas Group invites Australians to participate in naming its fleet of new A220s. Further focusing on “native wildlife” as the theme.
The public can now submit up to six names through a dedicated page on the qantas.com website. Following this, a shortlist of names will be released, allowing the public to vote for their favorites before the final names are revealed.
Qantas previously ran a successful competition in 2017 to name its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, which received over 10,000 submissions.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing expressed his excitement regarding this production milestone. Subsequently, he emphasized the significance of the A220 for the airline’s fleet rejuvenation.
He stated, “The A220 represents the next generation in our domestic fleet in terms of passenger comfort, aircraft range, and opportunities for our people, so seeing the first aircraft starting to take shape is incredibly exciting.”
Mr. Gissing further encouraged Australians to participate in the naming process, highlighting the airline’s tradition of celebrating what is unique about Australia.
Impressive Features of the A220
The Qantas Group has placed an order for 29 Airbus A220s, with the option to purchase more, as part of its Project Winton fleet renewal program. This substantial investment will see the Group receiving a new aircraft, on average, every three weeks in the coming years.
By the end of 2024, a total of seven A220s are expected to be in service, gradually increasing to 29 by 2027. Configured with two cabins, the QantasLink A220 will accommodate 137 passengers, including 10 Business seats and 127 seats in Economy.
The A220s will primarily connect smaller capital cities like Canberra and Hobart with major hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. With an impressive range of over 6,000 kilometers, almost double that of the 717, the A220 can fly between any city in Australia.
Additionally, the aircraft boasts a 28% reduction in fuel consumption per seat compared to the 717. Subsequently reinforcing its commitment to sustainability.
To contribute name suggestions for the new QantasLink A220 fleet, interested individuals can visit qantas.com/a220name before August 8, 2023.
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