The Qantas Group needs a fresh start and what better way to get back on track than a new plane with a striking new paint job. Symbolising this change is the rolling out of the first new QantasLink Airbus A220 from the Mirabel paint shop in Canada.
The aircraft is due in Australia by the end of the year. It will be the first of twenty-nine A220s that will modernise the Qantas Group domestic fleet while also expanding its narrowbody aircraft numbers. The new Airbus A220s will gradually replace the Boeing 717s in the fleet, doubling the range of the outgoing aircraft.
“The A220s will mostly connect smaller capital cities like Canberra and Hobart, with our major hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.”
This will open up new domestic and short-haul international routes for the Qantas Group.
“These aircraft have the potential to change the way our customers travel across the country, with the ability to connect any two cities or towns in Australia,” said Qantas Group CEO, Vanessa Hudson.
“That means faster and more convenient travel for business trips and exciting new possibilities for holiday travel. A whole new fleet type also means a lot of opportunities for our people to operate and look after these aircraft.”
QantasLink A220 Fast Facts
- The QantasLink A220 will seat 137 passengers in a two-cabin configuration with 10 Business seats and 127 seats in Economy.
- The A220s will mostly connect smaller capital cities like Canberra and Hobart, with our major hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
- The A220 has almost double the range of the 717 at over 6,000 kilometres, meaning it can fly between any city in Australia. The aircraft burns 25% less fuel per seat and CO2 compared to previous generation aircraft.
- The public has been invited to help name the new A220 fleet after Australian native wildlife. (The first aircraft, as part of the Flying Art Series, is an exception to the A220 naming convention).
Over the past 12 months, Qantas Group has taken delivery of twelve new aircraft, including eight Airbus A321LR planes for Jetstar and three Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Qantas International.
More deliveries of multiple aircraft types are expected in the next 12 months, including the first Airbus A321XLR for Qantas Domestic. As the old aircraft are replaced, Qantas can look forward to a cheaper fuel bill with fewer emissions.
The new QantasLink A220 (registration VH-X4A) will undergo a series of routine post-production test flights with Airbus as well as being fitted with Qantas-specific equipment before being officially handed over to the airline by the end of the year.
The aircraft will then ferry from Quebec to Australia and join the QantasLink fleet, initially operating flights between Melbourne and Canberra. Another six A220s are scheduled to be delivered by mid-2025.
“The aircraft is named after the artwork Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa – The Two Sisters Creation Story. “
The paintwork on VH-X4A tells the Dreaming story of two sisters who travel across remote Australia together to find their way home. The aircraft is named after the artwork Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa – The Two Sisters Creation Story.
Senior Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker created the artwork, while approximately one-hundred painters were involved in completing the livery. The Airbus teams worked with 130 stencils to replicate the detailed designs. It features over 20,000 dots and is the most complex livery Airbus has ever completed for this aircraft type. It took two weeks to complete.