With Qantas’ ambitious fleet renewal program underway, the construction of its first Airbus A220 aircraft is currently underway at the Airbus Canada production facility.
Qantas has now revealed photos of its very first A220 on the assembly line at the Airbus production facility in Mirabel, Canada.
A first in Australian aviation
Anticipated to arrive in Australia before the end of this year, this aircraft will mark the introduction of the A220 model to Australia’s aviation landscape.
The Qantas Group has plans for a total of 29 Airbus A220s, which will serve as a replacement for subsidiary carrier QantasLink’s existing Boeing 717 fleet, operating various routes across the country.
The A220, known for its advanced technology and improved range capabilities, will enable QantasLink to explore new domestic and short-haul international routes, significantly expanding its network and offering passengers more travel options.
QantasLink aims to deploy the first A220 on flights between Melbourne and Canberra, with subsequent aircraft gradually being assigned to other regional and domestic destinations.
With double the range of the Boeing 717, the A220 holds the promise of reaching more remote areas and opening up new travel opportunities for passengers.
Preparations for A220 induction
In preparation for the arrival of the A220, QantasLink has already commenced training its pilots to operate the new aircraft.
Regulatory approvals, airport readiness, and additional training activities will be conducted before the A220 officially joins the QantasLink fleet in early 2024.
The airline is committed to ensuring a seamless transition and delivering a safe and comfortable travel experience to its customers.
Naming the new aircraft
In an exciting initiative, the Qantas Group is inviting Australians to participate in naming its fleet of new A220s. The theme chosen for this naming competition is “native wildlife.”
Starting today, individuals can submit up to six names through a dedicated page on the Qantas website. A shortlist of names will be released, allowing the public to vote for their favorites.
The final names for the A220 fleet will be revealed based on the results of this voting process.
This naming competition follows a similar successful initiative conducted by Qantas in 2017 for its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. During that competition, over 10,000 name submissions were received from the public, reflecting the enthusiasm and pride Australians have for their national airline.
John Gissing, the CEO of QantasLink, expressed his excitement about the progress made in the fleet renewal program.
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 also emphasized the importance of involving Australians in the naming process, as it allows the airline to celebrate the country’s unique and diverse wildlife while fostering a sense of ownership and connection among its passengers.
Qantas has a long-standing tradition of naming its aircraft after significant aspects of Australia, including its places, pioneers, and natural wonders.
The decision to name the A220 fleet after native wildlife aligns with this tradition, showcasing the country’s rich biodiversity and serving as a testament to its natural heritage.
By involving the public in the naming process, Qantas aims to engage its passengers and evoke a sense of pride in the airline’s Australian identity.
The arrival of this new aircraft will mark an important milestone in Qantas’ fleet renewal program and a first for the Australian aviation industry.
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