QantasLink’s two new Airbus A220 aircraft have taken off for their first commercial flights, heralding a new era of domestic and regional travel for Australians.

The airline has taken delivery of the first two of 29 A220 jet aircraft, which will steadily replace its long-serving fleet of Boeing 717s as part of the Qantas Group’s domestic fleet renewal programme.

The inaugural Melbourne to Canberra service, QF1266, departed on Friday morning. The A220 will also commence operating select flights on the Melbourne-Brisbane route.

The aircraft is significantly 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.

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.

QantasLink CEO Rachel Yangoyan said the A220 would change the way people travelled around the country.

“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,” 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.”
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