DALLAS – Iraqi Airways (IA) becomes the latest airline to add the A220 to its fleet. Its first, registered YI-ARF, was delivered on Jan. 7 from Airbus’ Mirabel plant.
YI-ARF is the first of five A220s to be delivered to IA, with the airline aiming to renew its fleet. IA will become the second A220 operator in the Middle East, following EgyptAir, which took delivery of its first of the aircraft in 2019.
The latter now has 12 A220s in its fleet, with two being operated for Nigerian Ibom Air (QI).
Iraqi Airways’ Next-Generation Fleet
Iraqi Airways’ order for the A220 series aircraft dates back to 2013 when the aircraft program still belonged to Bombardier and was named the C Series.
The deal, originally announced with a letter of intent at the Dubai Air Show, was to complement the airline’s existing Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft.
The new aircraft features a dual-class cabin, with 12 business class seats and 120 economy seats. Additionally, the aircraft features Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines.
The airline currently operates a fleet of 14 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft, making up the core of its fleet, along with one Airbus A321, two A320s, and four Bombardier CRJ-900s
What’s Next for Iraqi Airways?
In the coming years, IA will aim to greatly increase its fleet size, with both Boeing and Airbus next-generation aircraft on order.
According to an interview, IA currently has 10 Boeing 787-8 aircraft on order, along with 16 Boeing 737- 8 aircraft from the manufacturer’s MAX series.
The acquisition of next-generation aircraft will allow the airline to better compete with larger airlines currently operating to and from Iraq.
Featured Image: Airbus