Qantas has taken delivery of its first Airbus A220, with the aircraft on the way to Australia.
The aircraft was handed over at Airbus’s Mirabel, Canada factory on 15 December, according to the airframer.
According to flight tracking sites, the aircraft (VH-X4A) is in Honolulu following a flight from Vancouver, the first stop on its ferry service to Australia. The aircraft will next fly to Nadi, from which it will embark for Sydney.
The jet is equipped with 137 seats – 10 in business and 127 in economy - and is the first of 29 A220-300s that will serve with Airbus’s Qantaslink unit, replacing its fleet of Boeing 717s.
“Flying twice as far, the A220 can connect any two points across Australia non-stop, while also bringing a significant 25% reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions compared to previous-generation aircraft,” says Airbus.
The jet features a special livery based on the artwork of Australia’s aboriginal population.
The Oneworld carrier has said that the A220s will connect smaller cities like Canberra and Hobart with its hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and that six examples will be delivered by the middle of 2025.
Initially, the aircraft will be deployed on the Melbourne-Canberra route.