MIAMI – Airbus announced yesterday that French Réunion-based airline, Air Austral, has signed a firm order for three A220-300 aircraft.

This order makes the continuation of a successful year for Airbus and the A220 with the plane now holding an order book of around 500 aircraft by the end of September 2019.

With the announcement in July of the Air France-KLM Group’s trust in the plane with it singing a memorandum of understanding for 60 aircraft, it would appear that the confidence and support for the aircraft have only continued to grow.

From left to right: Joel Boff, Senior Sales Director Europe Airbus Didier Rober, Président of Sematra, Marie-Joseph Malé, CEO Air Austral, Kimon Sotiropoulos SVP Central and Nother Europe Airbus, Christopher Buckley, EVP Commercial Airbus

The order from Air Austral makes them the first customer of the A220 based in the Indian Ocean Region. With the range of the A220-300 and its 20% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, the plane will allow Air Austral to continue to grow its network while also reducing its carbon footprint.

“Air Austral has chosen the A220-300 as part of the renewal of its Medium and Short Haul fleet. These new-generation aircraft will join the airline from the end of 2020 with the aim of harmonizing part of its fleet and strengthening its operations,” said Marie-Joseph Malé, CEO of Air Austral.

Currently, the airline operates a small fleet of only eight aircraft, of which two are nine-year-old Boeing 737-800s.

Boeing 737-800 of Air Austral (Credits: Alec Wilson)

In addition to the narrowbody fleet, the airline also operates a pair of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, as well as three 777-300(ER)s.

“The economic and operational performance of the A220 opens new possibilities for the development of our regional network from our main base – Réunion Island – in an efficient and rational way. The 132-seat capacity module, which is more flexible, will allow us to increase our frequencies while offering more comfort to our customers and crews,” added Malé.

Airbus recently increased the MTOW on the A220, becoming more viable to airlines for not just the increase in range but also for more isolated countries and places with the additional cargo capacity.

The announcement of this order is just another mark in a successful year for Airbus, who has seen large orders placed for not just the A220 but also for the A321XLR which was launched at the Paris Air Show earlier this year.