DALLAS — The first freshly painted QantasLink (QF) Airbus A220 emerged today from the Airbus paint shop in Mirabel, Canada. The aircraft spent two weeks in the paint shop, where a striking Aboriginal paint scheme was applied, making this aircraft the sixth to join the national carrier’s long-standing Flying Art Series.
Bearing registration VH-X4A, the A220 is due to arrive in Australia before the end of the year. It is the first of 29 A220s that will be delivered to QF’s regional airline brand as part of its domestic fleet renewal program to replace and grow its narrowbody fleet.
The next-generation QantasLink A220s will gradually replace the Boeing 717s currently operating flights across Australia. With double the range of the 717, the A220 is expected to open up new domestic and short-haul international routes as more aircraft enter the fleet.
This will be the twelfth new aircraft delivered to the Qantas Group over the past 12 months, including eight Airbus A321LR aircraft for Jetstar (JQ) and three Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Qantas International (QF). More deliveries of multiple aircraft types are expected over the next 12 months, including the first Airbus A321XLR for Qantas Domestic. All burn significantly less fuel, generate fewer emissions, and are quieter than the older aircraft they replace.
About Qantas’ Flying Art Series
The Qantas Flying Art Series was launched in 1994 with the unveiling of the first Indigenous livery aircraft, a Boeing 747 jumbo jet named Wunala Dreaming. Leading Indigenous Australian design agency, Balarinji, has worked with Qantas to create the fuselage design for all of the Flying Art Series liveries, in collaboration with First Nations artists and their families.
Ros Moriarty, Balarinji Co-Founder and Managing Director, explained that the agency worked jointly with artist Maringka Baker and her family, Tjungu Palya Arts Centre, Copyright Agency, Qantas, and Airbus to create the distinctive A220 livery.
Commenting on the design, Moriarty said: “The art aircraft collection is a great example of how we can experience the strength, integrity, and beauty of Aboriginal culture through best practice collaboration with artists and communities.”
Recognized as one of Australia’s most accomplished artists, Baker began painting in order to tell her ancestral stories relating to travel, women’s ceremonial business, family connections, and traditional lands.
QantasLink at a Glance
QantasLink is a regional airline brand of Australian airline Qantas and is an affiliate member of the Oneworld airline alliance. As of 2023, QantasLink provides over 2,000 flights each week to over 50 metropolitan and regional destinations across Australia, as well as short-haul international services to New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, and East Timor.
Featured image: QantasLink VH-X4A Airbus A220-300. Photo: Qantas