Airlines Air Austral becomes first French Airbus A220 operator

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has announced, that it has delivered the first three A220s to Air Austral, who becomes first French operator of the aircraft.

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Air Austral has become the first French operator of the A220 aircraft, as three airframes were delivered by the manufacturer. The A220-300 was assembled at Airbus´ Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mirabel, Canada, which the company took over from previous holder Bombardier.

Also with the delivery, Air Austral has become the first airline in the Indian Ocean region to operate with the aircraft, representing that the A220 is slowly coming into smaller markets as well. Air Austral has selected the larger A220-300 variant, which offers extended range and more seats.

“Air Austral has selected the Airbus A220-300 as part of its medium and short-haul fleet modernization plan in order to boost its operational efficiency, offering an enhanced passenger experience in a comfortable two-class cabin layout with 132 seats: 12 in business class and 120 in economy-class,“ Airbus explained in a statement.

Once the aircraft has entered into service, it will serve destinations between La Réunion and locations such as Mauritius, Mayotte, Seychelles, South Africa, Madagascar. The aircraft will also be used for operations to India. This means, that Air Austral will not only strengthen its regional-network, but is now able to offer mid-haul sustainable and cost-efficient routes, too.

The A220-300 features latest-generation Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, which allow a reduced noise footprint of around 50 percent. Furthermore, the aircraft will have a 25 percent lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions per seat when compared to previous-generation aircraft.

To date, Airbus has delivered more than 160 A220s to customers in Asia, North America, Africa and Europe, showing the versatility of Airbus´ latest mid-range aircraft. The A220 was initially introduced with Swiss International Air Lines in 2016.

Air Austral is an airline based at the Roland Garros Airport in Réunion, which is an oversea department of France in the Indian Ocean. The airline was founded 47 years ago in 1974 and operates with a fleet 11 aircraft; one ATR 72, three A220-300s, three Boeing 777-300ERs, two 737-800s and two 787-8 Dreamliner.

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