Air France has unveiled its first Airbus A220-300 named “Le Bourget”. The airline took delivery of its first A220 on 29th September 2021.
Air France is continuing to renew its fleet. Since introducing the Airbus A350 on its long-haul network, the carrier is continuing its fleet renewal and by 2025 will have integrated the 60 A220-300s ordered in 2019 to gradually replace its Airbus A318s and A319s as well as several Airbus A320s. Air France’s order of the A220s is the largest from a European customer for the aircraft type and it also includes an additional mix of 30 options and 30 purchase rights.
Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, said:
This new aircraft with an unparalleled energy performance represents a major asset for Air France. To date, fleet renewal is the main source of reducing CO2 emissions, and this is why we are continuing to invest in latest-generation aircraft. We are also activating all the levers at our disposal such as sustainable fuels or eco-piloting, as part of our contribution to promoting a carbon-neutral air transport industry and positioning ourselves as a leading player of a more sustainable aviation.
Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France, said:
The arrival of a new aircraft is always a special occasion for an airline. All the Air France teams have spent over two years preparing for this moment and we are excited to see our customers discover the optimal comfort offered by this aircraft. The cabin is more spacious, brighter, and offers full Wi-Fi-connectivity, further contributing to the upmarket positioning of our offer.
The first A220 is named as “Le Bourget” in homage to the town north of Paris which is deeply linked to the aviation industry. The aircraft sports the the emblematic Air France livery. It also features the winged seahorse on the front of its fuselage and on its wingtips, the symbol embodying the company’s founding myth.
The Air France Airbus A220-300 features 148 seats in a 3-2 configuration, offering 80% of passengers a window or aisle seat. Like the A318s and A319s which it will replace, the A220s offer two travel cabins, Business and Economy, and access to Air France Connect, the airline’s inflight Wi-Fi service.
Now, let’s talk about the seats. Air France states that the seats on its A220s are the widest on the market at almost 19 inches in width (48 centimetres). It reclines to 118 degrees and has an adjustable headrest, leather upholstery and an ergonomic seat cushion. A wide solid tray table, cup holder, a pouch for storing magazines and books, individual USB A and C ports and tablet or smartphone holder integrated into the backrest complete the package.
The cabin is decorated in the Air France signature colours – shades of blue, a strong presence of white providing light and contrast, and a hint of red. The carpet revisits the traditional ornamental herringbone pattern, symbolizing the emblematic Haussmann-inspired world of Parisian apartments.
From boarding to landing, specially-adapted cabin mood lighting settings will create bright, dynamic lighting for the welcome and disembarkation phases and softer lighting for a more relaxed, serene atmosphere during the flight.
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Air France states that the A220-300, the most innovative and efficient single-aisle aircraft in its class, is perfectly suited to its short and medium-haul network. It provides a cost reduction per seat of 10% compared to the Airbus A318 and A319 and stands out for its energy efficiency, consuming 20% less fuel than the aircraft it replaces and its CO2 emissions are also reduced by 20%. Additionally, the aircraft’s noise footprint is also 34% lower.
The French flag carrier states that these characteristics ‘will play a decisive role in reducing Air France’s environmental footprint and achieving its sustainable development objectives’. By 2030, the airline will have reduced its overall CO2 emissions per passenger/km by 50% compared to 2005, or 15% in absolute terms. The airline adds that it is also ‘committed to working with all its stakeholders and the public authorities to achieve the climate target of zero net CO2 emissions by 2050’.
Air France A220s will enter commercial service on 31st October 2021. As of 31st October 2021, Aid France’s A220-300 will fly from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport to:
- Berlin, Germany
- Barcelona, Spain
- Madrid, Spain
- Milan-Linate, Italy
- Venice, Italy
During the 2021-2022 winter season, the aircraft will gradually extend its network to:
- Bologna, Italy
- Rome, Italy
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Copenhagen, Denmark
Meanwhile, Air France recently unveiled a fully redesigned lounge at Montréal Trudeau Airport and also a new lounge in Terminal 2F at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. The airline has boosted flights to the French Overseas Territories, Caribbean and the Indian Ocean and has also launched flights to Helsinki, Finland.
Featured image by Air France
What do you think of Air France’s A220-300? Are you excited to fly on this brand-new aircraft? Let me know in the comments section below.