MONTREAL — Air France is counting down the days until it takes delivery of the first of 60 Airbus A220-300s it has ordered to renew its fleet.
The new aircraft will eventually replace Air France’s Airbus A318s and A319s on its short- and medium-haul network. The first Airbus 220, coming at the end of September, recently left the Airbus paint shop in Mirabel, near Montreal, where it was decked out with the airline’s new colours and a winged seahorse, Air France’s symbol that embodies its rich history.
As it is made with lighter composite materials, the Airbus A220 uses 20% less fuel than previous generation aircraft, and has a 34% reduced noise footprint. It will play a significant role in achieving Air France’s sustainable goals, which include a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions in absolute terms on its domestic network from Paris-Orly and on inter-regional routes by 2024, plus a 50% reduction in Co2 emissions per passenger/km by 2030.
Before joining Paris to carry Air France customers, the aircraft will undergo a series of ground and in-flight tests. Upon its arrival, it will be used for more than a month to train flight crews. Last September, eight instructor pilots attended an eight-week theoretical and practical training course at the Airbus training centre in Montreal, and are currently training their colleagues at Air France’s flight simulation centre at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Once Air France takes delivery of the first aircraft, this simulator training will be supplemented by approximately 20 flights in real conditions. Close to 700 Air France pilots will eventually be qualified on this aircraft.
The Air France Airbus A220 will be able to welcome 148 passengers in a 3-2 cabin configuration. Each seat will be equipped with type A and type C USB ports and all passengers will enjoy Wi-Fi access from their personal devices.