QantasLink Unveils First Airbus A220 in Fleet Renewal Milestone
Mirabel, Canada - November 2023 - QantasLink, the regional arm of the Qantas Group, has marked a significant step in its fleet renewal program with the rollout of its first Airbus A220 aircraft from Airbus’ facility in Mirabel, Canada. This event signals a major advancement in the Group's strategy to modernize its domestic fleet.
Introduction of the Airbus A220 to QantasLink's Fleet
The newly painted Airbus A220, set to arrive in Australia before year-end, is the first of 29 A220s destined for the Qantas Group. This introduction is part of a comprehensive plan to replace and expand the Group's narrowbody fleet. The A220s are slated to gradually replace the Boeing 717s, currently servicing routes across Australia.
Enhanced Range and Route Possibilities
The A220, boasting nearly double the range of the 717, is expected to revolutionize domestic and short-haul international travel for QantasLink. Its extended range opens possibilities for new routes, enhancing connectivity across Australia and potentially to nearby international destinations.
Fleet Expansion and Environmental Commitment
This delivery is the twelfth new aircraft for the Qantas Group in the past year, following eight Airbus A321LRs for Jetstar and three Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Qantas International. The Group anticipates further deliveries, including the Airbus A321XLR, over the next 12 months. These new aircraft are part of Qantas' commitment to reducing fuel consumption, emissions, and noise, replacing older, less efficient models.
Global Collaboration and Unique Livery
The first QantasLink A220, assembled in Mirabel with components from various global locations including wings from the United Kingdom, features a unique Aboriginal paint scheme. This artwork, part of the Qantas Flying Art Series, was created by senior Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker. The livery, named Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa – The Two Sisters Creation Story, is a testament to Qantas' ongoing celebration of Indigenous Australian culture.
Qantas Group CEO's Vision
Vanessa Hudson, CEO of the Qantas Group, highlighted the transformative potential of the A220s for domestic and regional travel. She emphasized the new fleet's ability to connect any two cities or towns in Australia, enhancing travel convenience and opening new opportunities for both leisure and business travel.
Upcoming Steps and Initial Routes
The A220 (registration VH-X4A) will undergo post-production test flights and be fitted with Qantas-specific equipment before its official handover. The aircraft will then travel from Quebec to Australia, initially serving routes between Melbourne and Canberra. Six more A220s are expected to join the fleet by mid-2025.
Public Engagement in Naming the Fleet
In a unique move, Qantas has invited the public to participate in naming the new A220 fleet after Australian native wildlife, with the first aircraft being an exception due to its special livery.
QantasLink A220 Specifications
- The A220 will have a two-cabin configuration, seating 137 passengers with 10 in Business and 127 in Economy.
- Primarily connecting smaller capitals like Canberra and Hobart with major hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.
- The A220's range exceeds 6,000 kilometers, with a 25% reduction in fuel and CO2 emissions per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.