Qantas’s first pair of Airbus A220-300s have begun commercial flights, kicking off the narrowbody fleet replacement process as the airline looks to take seven more examples by the middle of the year. 

The pair of A220s (VH-X4A, VH-X4B) operated flights between Melbourne and Canberra on 1 March. Qantas says the type, which are operated by subsidiary QantasLink, will also be deployed on flights from Melbourne to Brisbane. 

QF1266 CBR landing _2

Source: Qantas

Qantas A220 landing at Canberra as QF1266 on 1 March.

Qantas has 29 A220s on order, and the aircraft type will replace its aging fleet of Boeing 717s as part of a domestic fleet renewal programme. 

A third A220 is currently in production in Airbus’ Mirabel facility in Canada, and Qantas says another six aircraft are expected to be delivered by mid-2024. 

The A220s will be based in Melbourne and are scheduled to also operate to Hobart in July, as well as to Coffs Harbour from October and to Launceston from November. 

Qantas on 22 February unveiled details of the improved cabin product available on the A220s, when it announced its half-year results. Among other features, all A220s - configured to seat 137 passengers in two classes - will have wi-fi installed.