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Air Austral Becomes First French A220 Operator in Indian Ocean Region

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The first of the three Airbus A220s for Indian Ocean Island-based airline, Air Austral of La Réunion, has been delivered from the Airbus A220 Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mirabel, Canada, as announced by European planemaker, Airbus with the second and third aircraft delivery expected to join Air Austral fleet in the coming days.

This A220 will be the first of the type to be operated by a French airline in the Indian Ocean region, beating Air France which is set to take delivery of its first A220s in the coming days to potentially replace its Airbus A318s and A319s on the short and medium-haul network.

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

As the new A220 operator, the airline will strengthen its regional network with the three A220-300s, flying on routes between La Réunion Island and Mauritius, Mayotte, Seychelles, South Africa, Madagascar, and as far as India.

Marie-Joseph Malé Chairman and CEO of Air Austral said: “The delivery of this new aircraft is a very important moment for Air Austral, especially in the context of the epidemic crisis that we have been facing for more than a year. I would like to thank and congratulate all the teams and partners who made this structuring and strategic acquisition for Air Austral and its future possible.”

This is a fundamental and responsible investment for Air Austral. The Airbus A220-300 opens up new horizons for us. This is the aircraft we needed to confirm our leading position in the Indian Ocean, while maintaining prospects for sustainable profitability. Its level of comfort and performance will enable us to make an undeniable step forward in both operational and environmental efficiency. Our regional network is gaining new impetus. We are looking forward to offer this new travel experience to our customers, as soon as the health situation allows it. More than ever, we are ready for recovery”, continued the CEO.

The A220 is powered by latest-generation geared turbofan engines, Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G, and is the quietest and most eco-friendly aircraft in its category. The aircraft features a 50% reduced noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft, 25% lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions per seat as well as 50% lower NOx emissions than current industry standards.

To date, Airbus reports over 160 A220s have been delivered, operating routes in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa, proving the great versatility of the single-aisle aircraft.

 

By Victor Shalton Odhiambo

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