MIAMI – Today, Air France (AF) operated its first commercial A220-300 flight to Berlin (BER) and back, flying to Venice (VCE) this evening.

The flight marks a very important step that concludes the integration of the new aircraft type to AF’s fleet.

The A220-300 took off from CDG this morning with its first passengers on board. Photo: Air France

Integration of the Type to the Fleet

The airline placed an order of 60 Airbus A220 in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, to replace its A319 and A318 fleet. The order also included 60 more options. The A220 of AF are built in Mirabel, next to Montreal, in Canada. The plane was created by Bombardier, called then the C-Series. Airbus later bought the program and renamed the airplane A220.

Air France ordered only the largest version of the type, the A220-300.

A month ago, the carrier received its first A220, F-HZUA. The aircraft is also named “Le Bourget”, continuing with the airline’s tradition of naming its aircraft after French cities. The delivery took place on September 29, 2021. The aircraft has been in France for the entire month of October, operating training flights for pilots all around France and neighboring countries. It is now time for the aircraft to start flying passengers commercially.

The first flight from Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Berlin Brandenburg (BER) took off at 9:55 this morning, local time. The flight landed in BER after 1 hour 17 minutes of flight time. The aircraft flew back to CDG in the morning and is currently operating its third leg to VCE.

The A220 network will be gradually extended during winter. Image: Air France

Future European Network

According to the AF press release, the aircraft will be flying to a few European cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Venice, and Berlin.

As five more aircraft are due to be delivered by the end of the year, the network is set to expand gradually. The A220 will start flying to Lisbon, Bologna, Rome, and Copenhagen during the winter season.

There will be 15 more A220 joining the fleet in 2022. We can therefore expect the network to be extended to other European destinations.

The A220 will be a great aircraft for the airline, the passengers, and the environment, “with a cost reduction per seat of 10%, a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and a 34% reduced noise footprint.”

With 148 passengers on board, the A220 is “ideally suited to serving Air France’s short and medium-haul network.” Indeed, the aircraft “perfectly meets the company’s operational requirements and boasts the highest standards of in-flight comfort in its category.”

The A220-300 cabin features a 2-3 layout. Photo: Air France

Medium-Haul Service in Mind

“The Air France Airbus A220-300 has 148 seats, in a 3-2 seat configuration (5 seats across) offering 80% of customers a window or aisle seat. It offers two travel cabins, Business and Economy, and access to Air France Connect, the airline’s inflight Wi-Fi service.” Moreover, “the seat is the widest on the market”.

The Airline is really happy to welcome its new aircraft, and AF is sure its passenger will appreciate it. With today’s first flight, the French carrier inaugurates its new fleet of A220. It will, hopefully, help the airline recover from the pandemic, and it will significantly improve the passenger experience on the medium-haul network.

Featured image: The A220-300 was delivered to Air France at the end of September. Photo: Air France