On Thursday 26 August, the Airbus A220, sporting the Air France colours, made its very first flight. This test flight, known as a production flight, is the final part of the assembly phase and represents a major milestone before the Airbus A220 delivery process. The aircraft took off from its production site located at Mirabel airport (Canada) yesterday, returning to land a few hours later with Airbus representatives present on board to carry out various tests during the flight.
The production flight is carried out to ensure the aircraft’s compliance and the proper functioning of all systems in flight. This phase has been validated for the first of the 60 Airbus A220-300s ordered by the company to replace its Airbus A318 and A319 on the short and medium-haul networks.
Although its official entry into the Air France fleet isn’t scheduled until the end of September, the Air France Airbus A220 will fly again to validate another major phase in the delivery process, i.e., the customer acceptance flight. During the flight, the Airbus teams, this time accompanied by Air France teams, will check the aircraft’s compliance with the specifications defined by Air France. This new phase will mark the start of the training flights in real conditions before the first commercial flights.
With a capacity of 148 seats and an operating range of 2,300 nautical miles, the A220-300 is perfectly suited to Air France’s short and medium-haul network. Its entry into the fleet will significantly improve the customer experience with wider seats, large-capacity baggage racks, wider aisle spaces and in-flight Wi-Fi.
The latest-generation Airbus A220 embodies Air France’s sustainable development commitments – it uses 20% less fuel than the aircraft it replaces and has a 34% reduced noise footprint compared to an older generation aircraft. It will play a decisive role in achieving Air France’s objectives, including a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions in absolute terms on the domestic network from Paris-Orly and on inter-regional routes by 2024 (1), and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger/km by 2030 (2).
Air France is getting ready to take delivery of the Airbus A220 and looks forward to welcoming its customers on board this latest-generation aircraft that combines safety and comfort.
(1) Compared to 2019 levels (2) Compared to 2005 levels