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First QantasLink A220 lands on Australian soil

written by Jake Nelson | December 20, 2023

QantasLink’s first A220-300, VH-X4A, arrives in Sydney after its ferry flight from Montreal. (Image: Qantas)

QantasLink’s first A220 has arrived in Australia after its ferry flight from the Airbus factory in Mirabel, Canada.

VH-X4A touched down at Sydney Airport at 12:06pm on Wednesday after flying via Vancouver, Honolulu and Nadi. It had left Montreal on 16 December local time, having undergone two test flights following its exit from the Airbus paint shop last month.

Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson said the 29 137-seat A220s on order to replace the existing QantasLink 717 fleet will be able to fly non-stop between any two points in Australia, opening up new domestic and international short-haul routes, as well as being more eco-friendly and comfortable.

“More fuel-efficient aircraft is one way we’re working towards net zero and the A220 generates around 25 per cent fewer carbon emissions than the previous generation as well as being much quieter,” she said.

“This arrival marks the start of the biggest domestic fleet renewal program in Qantas’ history as the Group takes delivery of one new aircraft every three weeks on average over the next few years.


“On the back of this fleet investment we’re recruiting more pilots, cabin crew and engineers and expect to create around 8500 local jobs over the next decade.”

VH-X4A, which features a special Indigenous art-inspired livery, will now go through the regulatory approvals process, as well as airport readiness and crew familiarisation and training activities, before entering service between Melbourne and Canberra in the first quarter of next year.

Qantas is expecting a further six A220s by mid-2025. The A220’s arrival forms part of a wider fleet renewal program that will transform its domestic and international aircraft.

Internationally, Qantas will receive 12 new 787 Dreamliners and 12 Airbus A350s to replace the bulk of its ageing A330 fleet, alongside a separate order for 12 specially adapted A350-1000 jets to launch Project Sunrise.

Domestically, the airline will purchase 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 29 A220-300s to fly its domestic routes, but with the option to buy many more.

Subsidiary brand Jetstar has already begun welcoming its new fleet of 38 A320neos, comprised of 18 A321LRs and 20 A321XLR aircraft – an even longer-range variant.

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