DALLAS – The first Airbus A220-300 for the Qantas Group is now under construction. According to an official release by the airline, its m major airframe components, including rear and centre fuselage sections, are now “coming together” at Airbus’ Mirabel, Canada factory.
The aircraft is expected to join the group at the end of 2023 before undergoing regulatory approvals. It will then join QantasLink (QF) and enter service in early 2024 on the airline’s Melbourne (MEL)-Canberra (CBR) route.
Qantas (QF) ordered 20 Airbus A220s in 2022 as part of its Project Winton fleet renewal program. Nine additional -300s were ordered at this year’s Paris Air Show. The state-of-the-art airliner will be configured with ten business class and 127 economy seats and will be used to replace its ageing Boeing 717s. The A220s, which will offer more range than its predecessor, is also expected to open up new domestic and short-haul international routes as more of the type join the fleet.
Naming the Fleet
The flag carrier is now calling on Australians to devise a name for the new fleet. Based on the theme ‘native wildlife,’ up to six names can be nominated through a dedicated page on the QF website. A shortlist will then be released so the favourites can be voted on before revealing the final names.
“It won’t be long until we need to paint the name on the side of these aircraft, and we want all Australians to help us choose what we call them,” said QantasLink CEO John Gissing. “Our aircraft names have always celebrated what’s special about Australia, from its places, and pioneers to its natural wonders. Continuing that tradition, we’re naming our A220 fleet after Australia’s unique and rare wildlife.
“Whether it’s a frilled-neck lizard or feathertail glider, an echidna or emu, we want Australians to help choose some names that showcase some of our country’s favourite native animals, in addition to the one already on the tail, reflecting the diversity and colour of this wonderful place they call home.”
Featured Image: The airline’s first Airbus A220 is under construction at the Mirabel, Canada production facility. Photo: Qantas.