Qantas has revealed its inaugural Airbus A220 aircraft, featuring a captivating Aboriginal-inspired livery. Set to join QantasLink, its regional subsidiary, and commence operations in early 2024, the aircraft, registered as VH-X4A, was showcased at Airbus' facility in Mirabel, Canada, ahead of its anticipated arrival in Australia by the year's end.
This aircraft showcases the Aboriginal artwork of senior Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker, narrating the 'dreaming story of two sisters who traverse remote Australia together, covering vast distances to find their way home,' as outlined in a statement from the airline.
Collaborating with Indigenous Australian design agency Balarinji, Qantas has ensured a distinctive fuselage design for its aircraft, marking another addition to the Flying Art Series. This particular design, featuring over 20,000 dots, required the artistic efforts of a team of 100 painters over two weeks to complete.
Adding an extra layer of cultural significance, the aircraft has been christened 'Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa,' translating to 'The Two Sisters Creation Story,' drawing inspiration from the captivating artwork. Currently situated at Airbus' Mirabel facility in Canada, the A220 is scheduled to touch down in Australia before the conclusion of 2023.
Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson shared her enthusiasm, stating, "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. 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."
Hudson added that the A220 is anticipated to arrive during Christmas, with its inaugural commercial flights scheduled for early 2024 on QantasLink's service between Canberra and Melbourne before expanding across a broader network.
The introduction of the A220 marks the sixth aircraft in the Flying Art Series, with the initial plane, a Boeing 747 named Wunala Dreaming, debuting in 1994 and the most recent addition being a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2018. The A220-300 is set to replace QantasLink's aging Boeing 717 fleet, presenting substantial operational enhancements.
Boasting nearly twice the range, approximately 25% less fuel burn per seat, and reduced emissions, the A220 is expected to gradually replace the 717 fleet, which is approaching an average age of 22 years, with its final flight scheduled for June 2024.
Featuring two cabins accommodating up to 137 passengers – ten in business and 127 in economy – the A220 is a versatile asset for QantasLink, capable of serving domestic and regional networks while opening up new routes.
Qantas anticipates having seven A220s in service with QantasLink by mid-2025, with the fleet expanding to 29 by 2027. In addition to its narrowbody renewal, including the Airbus A321XLR, Qantas is set to receive 12 Airbus A350-1000s to upgrade its long-haul fleet.
SunExpress Becomes First Airline to Implement AMOSeTL Technology » Plane Takes King Harald V Back to Norway After Medical Procedure in Malaysia » Ryanair Challenges Evidence from ex-FBI Official in Antitrust Lawsuit Against Booking.com »