Airbus A220 might tempt Qantas as nimble jet makes a Sydney visit

Airbus is bringing its single-aisle A220 jet to Sydney and Brisbane next week on the opening stages of a Pacific tour.

By Chris Chamberlin, October 24 2019

While the Airbus A350-1000 is in the running for Qantas' globe-striding Project Sunrise fleet, its much smaller A220 sibling will also visit Sydney next week in the hope of making a favourable impression on Qantas.

The A220 is an advanced single-aisle jet – previously known as the Bombardier CSeries, before being acquired and rebranded by Airbus in 2017 – which sits between regional jets such as the Boeing 717 and the popular workhorse Boeing 737 in passenger capacity and range.

The smaller A220-100 model can typically accommodate 100-120 passengers in a two-class version (or 135 in an all-economy cabin), while the A220-300 has space for 120-150 travellers in a two-class configuration, or 160 guests in economy-only.

The A220-300 nestles between the Boeing 717 and Boeing 737.
The A220-300 nestles between the Boeing 717 and Boeing 737.

Airbus will bring an A220-300 aircraft to Sydney on Tuesday October 29 and host an hour-long charter flight "for airline executives and other invited guests" from 1.30-2.30pm.

Typically designed to give airline executives some personal experience with a plane in their own backyard, these tours help aircraft manufacturers to build interest in their planes and, ultimately, drive sales.

A two-class A220 typically has 2-2 seating in business and 2-3 in economy.
A two-class A220 typically has 2-2 seating in business and 2-3 in economy.

Airbus flew an A350-1000 to Sydney in early 2018 on a similar exercise, which saw Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce share a demonstration flight with invited media.

The A220-300 will then dart north to Brisbane (not coincidentally, the home of Virgin Australia), cross the Tasman to Auckland, and then work its way back to Europe with stops in Papua New Guinea, Noumea, Cambodia and India.

Typically adopting a 2-2 seating layout in business class and a 2-3 configuration in economy, the A220's passenger-friendly traits include larger windows, high-capacity overhead bins and LED lighting.

Regional flyers would welcome overhead bins with decent room for carry-on bags.
Regional flyers would welcome overhead bins with decent room for carry-on bags.

The Airbus A220 is already being flown by a number of overseas airlines, including Swiss and Delta Air Lines, with Air Canada and JetBlue planning to use new A220s to replace their existing Embraer E190 aircraft.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

1A
1A

17 Sep 2019

Total posts 2

While Virgin don't seem to have any money to invest in a new type, it's interesting the A220 tour happens to be during the current fleet and route review. The F100 fleet is ageing and will have to be dealt with at some stage. Replace it or get rid of it?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Sep 2018

Total posts 5

I've traveled on a brand new A220 this year on both Swiss and Delta and they are beautiful aircraft for short hall of song an hour duration.

Replacing Embraer our Fokker planes is their key opportunity IMHO. I could see Virgin Aus or QantasLink flying these planes to regional centres.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 938

The Qantas short haul fleet is aging and should ideally start getting renewal orders soonish. I could see A320s replacing the mainline 737s and A220s going to Qlink. The smaller -100 model replacing dash 8s and the larger -300 model replacing 717s.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1229

@Himeno - I can't see QF replacing their turbo props with jets. They have turbo props for a reason and the A220, even the smaller version, has too much capacity vs a 74 seat Q400. The smaller version seems like a perfect replacement for the 717, and perhaps some thinner 737 routes, but QF hasnt shown any indication that they are ready to move on from the 717.

22 Feb 2019

Total posts 6

Yep agree, Q400's also have less fuel burn for when speed vs cost come into play on shorter routes where time isn't such an issue. Only problem I can see as a replacement to to the 717 or F100 jets is that airlines like the above the wing engines on these models as it reduces the chance of them sucking up small stones or dust into the engines on isolated strips that don't see a lot of flights and aren't maintained to the same standards as the major city airports.

20 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

I've heard some great things about the CSeries/A220.

The age of the Qlink fleet is getting on a bit and Qantas really needs to start taking advatnage of their prodits by spending it on capital at some stage.

Aside from the 787 and pending the Sunrise decision are we looking at a strongly Airbus dominated Qantas fleet in the future?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 76

I was on the new and old A320s in Europe this year (in Y because J is a joke in the EU) and they are wonderful for pax!

So much overhead locker space! I was one of the last to board and even though the aircraft was full, there was still plenty of room for my carry on 55 spinner AND my (probably oversized) personal item.

I had window, aisle and an unfortunate middle seat on each of my flights and I have to say how nice it was to have the extra shoulder room!

Please, please, please, Qantas; do away Witt those outdated 737s! A320 family is the way to go!

The 737 was designed in 1964 and first flew in 1967! It was designed for low bypass (terribly inefficient, noisy) engines. It was not designed for today's technology. And I REFUSE TO FLY THE 737 max no matter what the FAA says!

And think of the easy load tins beneath...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 27

After recent European trips on A319, A320 and A321 across a number of carriers, then returning to Qantas 737s here, I find the Airbus machines somehow less claustrophobic, quieter and smoother than the Boeing offering.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1229

Are you confusing the A320 to the A220?

KLM - Flying Blue

05 Feb 2019

Total posts 34

I believe the A-220, is a nice aircraft. Wider seats, standard size toilets, quiet... I love the Delta Airlines configuration, with wireless tablets, and a very comfortable cabin

Would love to see Qantas embrace an Airbus-oriented future fleet. Replacing 737's with the A320 family, regional jets with these A220's and eventually A380's/330s with 350's (also my hope for Project Sunrise).

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 568

A350 is a great plane and probably the best option for Sunrise but it isn't a replacement for the A330s. Best replacement for A330 is either 787 or A330NEO. A350s are optimised for routes longer than that typically flown by A330s.

Would the A220 make Perth to Singapore

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 568

It would make it quite comfortably. Range of A220 is about 6000km and PER-SIN is just under 4000km. Whether it can do it competitively against a full A330 or 787 is a different question.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 225

I sincerely hope QF look at something like this to replace the awful 717's that would have to be the most unreliable plane flying in any fleet, and the all economy class version is worse than flying Jetstar, just a shocker.

Isn't this a rebranded Douglas DC 9.I remember flying in one from Gold Coast to Melbourne might of been Qantas can't remember

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 108

Seams to be an Aust/pacific/Asia tour and demonstration rather than a plane flown down for a specific airline -Qantas

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 160

Air Vanuatu has purchased 4 A220's - 2 A220-100 delivery June 2020 and 2 A220-300 delivery 2021.

The A220 is a very versatile aircraft with short landing/take off (A220-100) capabilities with an operating range up to 3,400 nmi (6,300 km) allowing it to fly across the Atlantic from Europe/UK/Ireland to eastern seaboard of the USA.

This aircraft is will suited for the South Pacific region as will as flights from Australia to Asia.

I hope that Airbus launches the much rumored A220-500 that will carry up to 200 passenger in all economy configuration.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Oct 2018

Total posts 6

Port Moresby - wonder if Air Niugini would look at it to replace the F100 or even in place of a 767 for POM-BNE/SYD etc.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Oct 2018

Total posts 6

Cant work out how to edit - but ANG did order 4x 737-MAX just before they got grounded - this could be a good alternative perhaps.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 303

I'd love to see the A220 in the Qantas fleet. As much as I like the 717, they have had their day. A couple of recent flights left me thinking just how old the interiors are looking. Nothing beats their steep takeoff though!

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 50

Yeah, Qantaslink does need to look at some fleet replacement soon. It's current average age is almost 17 years and with nothing on order it's going to get worse over the next period.

Most of the Q400s are around or under 10 years, so they'll be fine, some of the smaller dash 8s are older and will need to be replaced soon. The 717s are also getting old with the fleet approaching 20 years, so a replacement plan in the next 5 years needs to be figured out.

The most pressing need is for the Fokker 100s, which some are approaching 30 years. One of the main requirements for the Fokker replacement is the ability to operate out of remote airports with their special requirements.

Geo
Geo

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2019

Total posts 2

Looks like a solid replacement for the 717s operated by Qantas link.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 109

I did a SwissAir CS100 Zurich Madrid return and I loved the plane , way better than a 717 (although they are not that bad up front with the rear engines...) 717 is just too small a diameter, cramped to sit on the window

As with any Eurobiz, it is basically an economy seat with a blanked out seat next to you, since it is a 2/3 split take the 2 (A/B) seats by yourself, if the person infront reclines the are off-set. Row 1 and 3 next to the window for me.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 99

No mention of the 3 recent emergency landings due to software issues/engine failures resulting in Swissair taking all their A220's out of service temporarily?

KLM - Flying Blue

05 Feb 2019

Total posts 34

All Swiss A-220 are back to the air. I believe, Swiss, acted in an abundance of precaution. The airplanes are perfectly fine.

The company is working with the engine manufacturer, to find out the origin of the problem on the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G powerplant

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

27 Nov 2012

Total posts 41

What most in this discussion miss is that the 717's are reasonably young airframes in so far as cycles are concerned, and owe QF zero dollars. Sure, an upgrade to the interior would be nice, but they are an efficient bus for the routing they cover.

As for the F70/100's, there is an extensive supply of spare airframes, and parts available in Australia for the foreseeable future, making them competitive and cheaper to operate than new types.

New designs are nice, but it will be sometime in the future.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2015

Total posts 5

Flew this aircraft with Swiss a few weeks ago. Beautiful aircraft lovely big windows

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 8

Although the F100s are old, they are extensively rebuilt as airlines retire them. And they have a unique advantage over any other small to mid size jet - the engines are mounted high above ground level (relative to modern designs) so they can be used on dirt strips for Fly In Fly Out mining and other similar needs. They will be around for a long time yet.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 57

Oh, if only these were to be bought for some of the QantasLink sectors. However, me thinks not that this will happen until councils lengthen/strengthen runways and improve terminal facilities in some locations. Shame that really...

So the A 220 us not manufactured by Airbus but Bombardier Canada themselves

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

Correct, as it's they're a rebranded C-Series.

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 10

Could it fly from Essendon as a London City kind of operation?

10 minute boarding, short walk through the terminal, shorter trip to the city - these could add up to more than half an hour saved per trip.

31 Aug 2017

Total posts 6

The elephant in the room may be the A320 321 neo as a 737 replacement for Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin. Especially if AB does a sweetener bulk deal on A330 upgrades and whatever project sunrise evolves into. Either way safe bet that QANTAS will play both BOEING and AB off against each other to get the best deal interesting times the A220 may just be the bait on the hook for AB to get a bigger fish


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Nov 2017

Total posts 11

I flew the A220 earlier this year. The windows are the power play for me. Huuuuuge glass area per 787!. The light and airiness of the cabin are stunning. These are accentuated by the narrow body of course.

Wonder if Virgin Australia will buy any of these A220's

31 Aug 2017

Total posts 6

If they have not yet unloaded the 4 Embraer 190/195 ? and can find some white night partner or cash perhaps it could happen? Crew Training sims etc could be the deal-breaker however. Re These hulls for fifo work reckon not just yet few years down the track about 5 could be as the hulls and engines matures


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