QantasLink Unveils First Airbus A220 Featuring Striking Indigenous Livery
QantasLink’s first of 29 Airbus A220s has rolled out of the paint shop in Mirabel, Canada featuring a striking Aboriginal paint scheme. The aircraft is set to arrive in Australia by the end of the year, and the A220s will gradually replace the carrier’s Boeing 717s.
On Wednesday (November 15, 2023), QantasLink unveiled their first Airbus A220, which rolled out of the paint shop in Mirabel, Canada featuring a stunning Aboriginal livery design. This is the first of 29 A220s the carrier has on order, which will gradually replace their aging Boeing 717s. The new A220 is expected to arrive in Australia by the end of the year and will be the 12th new aircraft delivered to the Group in the last 12 months, including eight Airbus A321LRs for Jetstar and three Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Qantas international. Over the next 12 months, the carrier will take delivery of more new aircraft, including their first Airbus A321 XLR for Qantas Domestic.
In Wednesday’s announcement, Qantas Group’s CEO, Vanessa Hudson, said,
“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. 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.”
QantasLink's New Airbus A220 (Registration VH-X4A) 'The Two Sisters Creation Story' Livery Details - Courtesy Qantas
As part of Qantas’ Flying Art Series, the new A220 is the sixth aircraft in the series and spent two weeks in the paint shop where it received the striking Aboriginal paint scheme. Launched in 1994, The Flying Art Series’ first Indigenous livery aircraft was a Boeing 747 jumbo jet named Wunala Dreaming. Balarinji, a leading Indigenous Australian design agency, has worked with Qantas to design all of the Flying Art Series Liveries, in collaboration with First Nations artists and their families.
QantasLink's First Airbus A220 Receives a Bespoke Aboriginal Livery at the Airbus Facility in Mirabel, Canada - Courtesy Qantas
The new A220’s livery features the artwork of senior Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker and tells the dreaming story of two sisters who cross remote Australia together, conveying vast distances to find their way back home. The aircraft is therefore named ‘Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa’ (The Two Sisters Creation Story). Approximately 100 painters were involved in the livery creation, with the Airbus teams working with 130 stencils to replicate the design, featuring over 20,000 dots, the most complex livery Airbus has ever created for an A220.
QantasLink’s new A220 (registration VH-X4A), will now undergo a series of routine post-production test flights with Airbus, while being outfitted with Qantas-specific equipment before delivery later this year. After arrival in Australia, the aircraft will initially be deployed on the route between Melbourne and Canberra. QantasLink will receive a further six A220s by mid-2025. The aircraft will seat 137 passengers, with 10 Business Class and 127 Economy Class seats, and offers a range of over 3,240 nautical miles (6,000 km), almost double the range of the Boeing 717s they will replace.