Qantas’ fleet renewal took another step forward this week after the airline’s second A220 arrived in Australia.
VH-X4B touched down in Canberra on Tuesday at 2:18pm following a flight from the Airbus factory in Mirabel, Canada.
Victor Pody was in Melbourne to shoot its arrival in the Victorian capital this morning.
The aircraft, named ‘Koala’, is painted in a traditional red and white Qantas livery and travelled to Australia via stops in Vancouver, Honolulu and Nadi.
Qantas has ordered 29 137-seat A220s to replace its existing QantasLink 717 fleet, with another five expected by mid-2025.
Unlike its predecessor, the next-generation model is capable of flying 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,” said Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson when they first arrived.
“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.”
Say hello to our newest @Airbus A220-300! 🐨
‘Koala’ took to the skies for the first time in recent days and will arrive in Australia next week following the official handover from Airbus in Mirabel, Canada.
The aircraft is the first of our A220 fleet to be named after native… pic.twitter.com/5CtS6cVQad
— Qantas (@Qantas) January 18, 2024
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 long-range A321LRs and 20 A321XLR aircraft – an even longer-range variant.