Qantas has announced that it will receive its first Airbus A220-300 aircraft within the next few weeks.
Qantas has placed an order for 29 of them, making them a significant element of a planned domestic fleet renewal.
Airbus’s production site in Mirabel, Canada, is where the first plane will soon begin its flight test programme after entering production in July 2023.
Once the first plane is delivered, it will be put into service with QantasLink, the regional arm of the parent company. After receiving the required regulatory approvals and putting it through its tests in airport readiness inspections and personnel training, it will be first deployed on the Canberra – Melbourne trunk route.
QantasLink’s fleet of aged Boeing 717 twinjets will be retired and replaced with the new Airbus A220 fleet. In July 2024, when more of the new type are delivered, the Boeing 717 will make its last flight.
QantasLink expects to have seven A220s in service by July 2024, and all 29 planes on order will arrive by 2027.
The Airbus A220 is a long-range aircraft with a maximum range of 3,450 nautical miles, and it was built with the 100-150-seat segment. Two Pratt & Whitney GTF turbofans provide propulsion; these engines are approved to operate on 50% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson has confirmed that the first plane for the new subsidiary, Qantas Link, will arrive before the holidays. The A220 is a quieter, fuel-efficient plane that can travel between any two Australian airports.
However, the new A220s will be used for more than domestic flights in Australia. Short-haul international flights to New Zealand and Asia are also planned for the new type since the economical newcomer has the ability to broaden the company’s reach into new markets.
Up to 25 Airbus A321XLR twinjets and 12 Airbus A350-1000s with extended ranges are on order for the airline. Although specific launch dates have not been disclosed, the latter will be used on the airline’s non-stop routes connecting Sydney with London Heathrow and New York.