Airbus Deploys airBaltic A220-300 on Demo Tour To Africa, Looking To Court New Customers – AirlineGeeks.com
By Victor Shalton
Airbus Deploys airBaltic A220-300 on Demo Tour To Africa, Looking To Court New Customers
Airbus presented an airBaltic Airbus A220-300 on a demonstration flight to TAAG – Linhas Aéreas de Angola last Tuesday — Dec. 6 — in Luanda, Angola.
The model is expected to be integrated into the fleet of the flag carrier of the Republic of Angola from August 2023 and will thus receive six units over the next two years via lease agreement with ALC.
The event, which took place at the 4 de Fevereiro International Airport, saw invited guests boarding the airBaltic aircraft which features 145 seats in a single class passenger cabin. Thus far, airBaltic has carried nearly 10.2 million passengers on the Airbus A220-300 aircraft.
Since May 2020, airBaltic operates all its flights with a single aircraft type – Airbus A220-300, thus minimizing the complexity and benefiting from the additional efficiency provided by the aircraft. The airline’s fleet now consists of 38 A220-300 with two more planned to join by the end of this year.
This is the first time that Airbus has conducted a demonstration flight in the Southern African region.
TAAG announced last week that it’s staff will start training from next February 2023, in order to be able to carry out “safely and efficiently the operation and maintenance of the new aircraft,” and that the A220s will replace the Boeing 737-700 currently in service to regional destinations in Africa.
“The reinforcement of TAAG’s fleet is evidence of the modernization and growth path that includes a more versatile fleet capable of responding to the needs of the continental and Latin American markets (aligned with the growing evolution of TAAG’s network of destinations and frequencies),” said Eduardo Fairen, Chairman of the Executive Committee of TAAG, “which will allow the company to take greater advantage of the country’s geostrategic positioning, boosted by the Luanda hub and the New Dr. Agostinho Neto, which is in an accelerated finishing phase, on the outskirts of the Angolan capital.
“TAAG’s objective is to work with everyone, and with the best manufacturers in the world, structuring its fleet in a multi-brand format (Boeing, Airbus and Dash8) choosing the most appropriate aircraft for our regional and intercontinental operations,” Fairen said.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan engines, the A220 is capable of flying non-stop on routes of up to 3,400 nautical miles (6,300 kilometeres), and generates fuel savings of up to 25% compared with older generation aircraft of a similar size.
The aircraft is available in two versions, with the -100 variant seating between 100 and 130 passengers and the larger -300 variant seating between 130 and 160 in typical airline layouts.
The A220-300’s have completed more than 117,000 flights and flown over 256,000 block hours.
Today, the aircraft is operated in the African region by several airlines including Air Tanzania, Air Senegal, Air Austral, and EgyptAir on both domestic and international services.
Nigeria’s Ibom Air has an order for 10 units with deliveries to begin in 2023.
To date, Airbus has received 740 orders for the A220 and delivered more than 200.