Qantas makes inaugural flights with its first Airbus A220s

Qantas has started operations with its brand new Airbus A22Os.

The airline’s subsidiary QantasLink started flying the A220s on commercial flights on 01 March 2024.

The A220s are based in Melbourne and the first routes were Melbourne to Canberra and Melbourne to Brisbane.

Qantas has 29 A220 on order to replace its Boeing 717 fleet. With almost double the range of the 717s, the A220 can fly between any two points in Australia and to several offshore destinations, creating new route options in future.

The third A220 is currently in production at Airbus’ facility in Mirabel, Canada, and is due to be delivered in June 2024. Another four A220s are scheduled to be delivered by mid-2025.

As more aircraft are delivered, the A220 will be deployed across other existing routes including Melbourne-Hobart from July, Melbourne-Coffs Harbour from October and Melbourne-Launceston from November.

Cabin layout

QantasLink will operate the A220s with a total of 137 seats in a two-class layout:

  • 10 business in a 2-2 layout
  • 127 economy in a 2-3 layout

This is a considerable increase compared with the current 717, which has two configurations:

  • 110 seats in a 2 class layout (12 business, 98 economy)
  • 125 seats in an all economy layout

The Qantas Airbus A220

The A220 aircraft is more fuel efficient than previous generation aircraft. Its ultra-modern light and bright cabin design with large windows and overhead lockers, specially designed seats and greater sense of space offers a more comfortable flight for customers.

Key features of the Qantas A220 include:

  • The largest windows of any single aisle aircraft and a cabin with a greater sense of space.
  • Fast, free Wi-Fi, allowing passengers to stay connected, as well as the improved Qantas Entertainment App for streaming content to their own device.
  • An integrated personal device holder and USB A and C charging in both Economy and Business; additional wireless charging pad in Business.
  • More comfortable Economy seat with extra padding compared with the 717.
  • Around 20 per cent more overhead locker space for all passengers.
  • Reduction in noise footprint of up to 50 per cent and reduction in carbon emissions of 25 per cent.

Rachel Yangoyan, QantasLink CEO:

“These next-generation aircraft are going to make a real difference for customers travelling across our network so it’s great to see it launch commercial flights from today,” Ms Yangoyan said.

“The A220 is more comfortable, offering a greater sense of space and fast and free Wi-Fi for every customer.

“The aircraft are also quieter and generate up to 25 per cent fewer carbon emissions, which is critical as we work towards our net zero target.

“We know many of our customers have been waiting for the opportunity to travel on the new aircraft, just as our QantasLink teams have been looking forward to flying them.

“We saw a spike in bookings on these routes when we identified them as the first A220 flights last week. It was a great response from many customers who clearly wanted to be among the first to experience our new A220.”

Internet links

Qantas (QF)

Qantaslink (QF)

Airbus A220