Key Points:

  • Qantas is set to deploy its new fleet of 29 QantasLink Airbus A220s, starting with services to Canberra from major cities, replacing the older Boeing 717s.

  • The A220-300s, seating 137 passengers, offer greater range and environmental efficiency, with the first aircraft expected to begin operations by the end of the year.

  • Qantas' fleet renewal includes the A220s with unique Indigenous Australian livery and 12 Airbus A350-1000s for future non-stop long-haul flights.

QantasLink's Modernization with Airbus A220s

Qantas has announced that passengers traveling to Canberra and other smaller cities from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane will soon experience the airline’s latest Airbus A220s. These aircraft, the first of which has emerged from the paint shop adorned with new livery, are part of Qantas’ ambitious fleet renewal program, Project Winton. The introduction of the 29 QantasLink A220s, set to commence by the end of this year, marks a significant step in replacing the ageing Boeing 717 fleet.

Enhanced Travel Experience and Environmental Benefits

The A220-300 model, selected by Qantas, features a two-cabin configuration with a capacity for 137 passengers, including 10 in business class. Its debut on the Melbourne-to-Canberra route will soon extend to other destinations within the QantasLink network. With almost double the range and 25% less CO2 emissions than the Boeing 717s, the A220s are expected to revolutionize domestic travel in Australia. Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson highlighted the transformative potential of these aircraft, foreseeing more efficient business travel and new opportunities for holiday destinations across the country.

Indigenous Art Livery and Long-Haul Fleet Expansion

The first A220's livery is part of Qantas' Flying Art Series, initiated in the 1990s in collaboration with Indigenous Australian design agency Balarinji. The aircraft showcases the artwork of senior Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker, featuring over 20,000 dots in a complex design that Airbus described as the most intricate they have ever completed for this aircraft type.

In addition to the A220s, Qantas’ fleet renewal plan includes acquiring 12 long-range Airbus A350-1000s. These aircraft are set to operate non-stop flights from Australia’s east coast to destinations such as London, New York, and potentially other European cities, marking a significant expansion of Qantas’ long-haul capabilities.