Qantas has shown off its latest addition to the Qantas aircraft fleet, the Airbus A220. The new aircraft is also the latest in its ‘Flying Art’ series, joining others in the fleet featuring Indigenous artwork.
The latest A220 is the first of 29 that will join the Qantas network and will be taking over from the current Boeing 717s. While it is replacing the 717, it offers twice the range of the outgoing aircraft. Qantas has pointed out that it can fly between any two cities in Australia. As a result, it is expected that it will be seen on new domestic and short-haul international routes over time.
As with the 717, the A220 will enter service with QantasLink. Onboard the aircraft there will be a total of 137 seats, consisting of 10 Business and 127 Economy seats.
The aircraft is now undergoing testing and is expected to arrive in Australia before the end of the year. Once it enters service, it will initially operate between Canberra and Melbourne. As more aircraft arrive, expect to see the A220 on more routes.
The Artwork – Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa
As mentioned, the aircraft will be the latest addition to the Flying Art Series of aircraft. The Flying Art Series showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and stories through artwork. The series began in 1994 when Wunala Dreaming, a Boeing 747 rolled out. Since then, Indigenous artwork has appeared on a number of aircraft.
The latest Flying Art Series livery features the artwork of senior Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker. It tells the Dreaming story of two sisters who traverse remote Australia together, covering vast distances to find their way home.
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.
The aircraft bears the name of the artwork Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa – The Two Sisters Creation Story.