Air France receives its first Airbus A220 aircraft

The first Airbus A220 aircraft ordered by Air France is coming home in Paris. Air France, the national carrier of France, revealed its latest fleet member, A220, on Wednesday. It is the first of 60 A220-300 aircraft ordered to renew the short and medium-haul fleet. The A220 fleet will gradually replace A318s and A319s plus some A320s on short and medium-haul networks by the middle of the decade.

Air France placed the order for 60 such aircraft in December 2019. Air France’s first Airbus A220 completed a test flight in August and a customer acceptance flight before the delivery process.  It had been spotted emerging from Airbus paint shop sporting the Air France’s contemporary colors one month before its maiden flight on July 26.

Today, the airline is welcoming this initial arrival as it represents a major asset. The aircraft will adopt F-HZUA as its French registration number. Demonstrating an unparalleled energy performance, the airliner is on the journey to join Air France’s fleet as the clean-sheet, medium-sized commercial airplane.

A220 arrival at Paris-Charles de Gaulle

The company’s first Airbus A220 featuring winged seahorse, carrier’s historical symbol at the front of the fuselage, will soon get a warm welcome from all the Air France crews. The aircraft conducted a non-stop ferry flight from Montreal to Paris Charles de Gaulle on September 28.

It has a total of 148 seats on a 3-2 cabin configuration. For passenger convenience, type A and type C USB ports will be fitted to each seat, and a Wi-Fi facility is also available as per the carrier’s previous announcement. The Air France Airbus A220 will offer two services classes: business and economy, with 80% of the window or aisle seats. In addition to having high in-flight comfort, it is an environmentally friendly airline and encompasses operational and economic efficiency. The aircraft supports Air France’s transformation step to commence sustainable operation by offsetting CO2 by20% than the aircraft it replaces.

The Paris-based airline will operate six A220-300s with two aircraft slated to be ferried in October, one in November, and two in December this year.

Although the first A220 has arrived, it won’t operate revenue operations until a bit later in 2021 as the crews need to train and familiarize themselves with the aircraft’s techniques and operations.

Air France has not only planned for A220 to be the next-generation aircraft. Rather the Air France-KLM group is discussing with aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing to place orders for up to 160 narrowbody aircraft, which can either be A320 or 737 Max planes.

A220 aircraft is fuel-efficient due to the lighter composite materials use as it embodies the carrier’s commitment with 20% less fuel consumption compared to the jet it replaces. It can also contribute to 34% less noise footprint.

Destinations to be served by A220

Air France plans to deploy the A220 aircraft to serve the destinations such as Barcelona, Berlin, Madrid, Milan-Linate, and Venice from October 31 while extending the flight services to Bologna, Copenhagen, Lisbon, and Rome 2021-2022winter season.

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