Qantas ditches iconic red tail for arrival of new aircraft

Qantas ditches iconic red tail for arrival of new aircraft
Edited by Travel Weekly


    QantasLink’s first brand new Airbus A220 aircraft has rolled out of the paintshop at Airbus’ facility in Mirabel, Canada, marking a significant milestone in the Qantas Group’s fleet renewal program.

    The aircraft, which is set to arrive in Australia before the end of the year, is the first of 29 A220s that will be delivered to the Group as part of its domestic fleet renewal program to replace and grow its narrowbody fleet.

    The next-generation QantasLink A220s will gradually replace the Boeing 717s currently operating flights across Australia. With double the range of the 717, the A220 is expected to open up new domestic and short-haul international routes as more aircraft enter the fleet.

    This will be the twelfth new aircraft delivered to the Group in the past 12 months, including eight Airbus A321LR aircraft for Jetstar and three Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Qantas International. More deliveries of multiple aircraft types are expected in the next 12 months, including the first Airbus A321XLR for Qantas Domestic. All burn significantly less fuel, generate fewer emissions and are quieter than the older aircraft they replace.

    Over the past six months, this first QantasLink A220 aircraft has come together at the Mirabel facility, with key components produced in other facilities around the world, including wings from the United Kingdom.

    The aircraft spent two weeks in the paintshop where a striking Aboriginal paint scheme was applied, making this aircraft the sixth to join the national carrier’s longstanding Flying Art Series.

    The Qantas Flying Art Series was launched in 1994 with the unveiling of the first Indigenous livery aircraft, a Boeing 747 jumbo jet named Wunala Dreaming. Leading Indigenous Australian design agency, Balarinji, has worked with Qantas to create the fuselage design for all of the Flying Art Series liveries, in collaboration with First Nations artists and their families.

    The latest Flying Art Series livery features the artwork of senior Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker and tells the Dreaming story of two sisters who traverse remote Australia together, covering vast distances to find their way home. The aircraft is named after the artwork Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa – The Two Sisters Creation Story.

    Around 100 painters were involved in completing the livery, with the Airbus teams working with 130 stencils to replicate the detailed designs. It features over 20,000 dots and is the most complex livery Airbus has ever completed for this aircraft type.

    Qantas Group CEO, Vanessa Hudson, said the QantasLink A220s would be a game changer for domestic and regional travel.

    “These aircraft have the potential to change the way our customers travel across the country, with the ability to connect any two cities or towns in Australia,” said Ms Hudson.

    “That means faster and more convenient travel for business trips and exciting new possibilities for holiday travel. A whole new fleet type also means a lot of opportunities for our people to operate and look after these aircraft.”

    The A220 (registration VH-X4A) will undergo a series of routine post-production test flights with Airbus as well as being fitted with Qantas-specific equipment before being officially handed over to the airline by the end of the year.

    The aircraft will then ferry from Quebec to Australia and join the QantasLink fleet, initially operating flights between Melbourne and Canberra. Another six A220s are scheduled to be delivered by mid-2025.

    Latest News

    • Hotels

    Minor Hotels announces a new luxury Anantara on Bali’s Seseh Beach

    Minor Hotels has signed an agreement to manage a new-build Anantara resort and branded residences on Seseh Beach in Bali, opening in 2027. The news Anantara Dragon Seseh Bali Resort will be the first luxury beachfront resort on Seseh Beach and the third Anantara Hotels & Resorts property in Bali. The Anantara Dragon Seseh Bali […]

    • Aviation

    Solomon Airlines fills Air Vanuatu gap with flights from Port Vila to Auckland

    Solomon Islands’ national carrier will commence direct flights between Port Vila and Auckland from 27 May, using Solomon Airlines aircraft to continue air services linking Vanuatu and New Zealand. Solomon Islands officials together with the Vanuatu Government has worked closely with relevant New Zealand authorities to continue interim flights servicing Auckland from Port Vila. This included […]

    • Aviation

    Board Air Canada in Sydney’s CBD via a sleek Light Rail

    Visitors flocking to Vivid Sydney will glide through the CBD in the newest addition to the Air Canada fleet – a sleek Light Rail tram wrapped in the airline’s unique livery. The Air Canada-themed tram is part of a new marketing campaign designed to put Air Canada in lights during the Vivid Sydney festival (25 […]

    • Cruise
    • News

    Carnival Splendor to the rescue of Aussies and Kiwis left stranded in Vanuatu

    Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor has come to the aid of a group left stranded in Vanuatu, following the collapse of Air Vanuatu. The group, eight Australians and one New Zealander, were visiting the island of Santo when Air Vanuatu cancelled all flights, leaving them without a way home. Carnival Cruise Line responded by offering […]

    • Hotels

    QT Singapore set to open in heritage Eastern Extension Telegraph building

    Bookings open today for QT Singapore, in the historic former Eastern Extension Telegraph building along Robinson Road, the first property from QT Hotels & Resorts to open outside Australian and New Zealand. Previously Accor’s So Singapore, then the Hotel Telegraph, QT Singapore will officially launch on September 16 and will feature 134 rooms, ranging in […]

    • Hotels
    • News

    Minor Hotels’ Anantara group reimagines the brand as its portfolio surpasses 50 properties

    Anantara Hotels & Resorts is marking a significant milestone with a reimagined brand identity as recent openings across Europe, Middle East and Asia have propelled the brand portfolio beyond 50 properties. Part of the Minor Hotels group, the Anantara visual refresh takes an elegant, pared-back approach that enables each hotel’s unique character to shine – […]