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Check out Air France's new cleaner, quieter Airbus A220-300

Sept. 30, 2021
4 min read
Check out Air France's new cleaner, quieter Airbus A220-300
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Air France has taken delivery of the first of its new Airbus A220-300 aircraft that is part of the carrier's refresh of its fleet.

The airline has ordered 60 A220s from Airbus that will gradually replace the A318, A319 and some A320 aircraft between now and 2025, as it looks to make its fleet faster, more efficient and more environmentally responsible.

The A220-300 is considered the most innovative and efficient single-aisle aircraft in its class.

The order includes agreements for an additional 30 options and 30 purchase rights.

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The inside of Air France's new Airbus A220-300 aircraft (photo courtesy of Air France)
The inside of Air France's new Airbus A220-300 aircraft (Image courtesy of Air France)

The A220-300 is a much more efficient aircraft that Air France estimates will provide its operations with better financial and environmental performance, including:

  • A cost reduction per seat of 10%
  • Consuming 20% less fuel than the aircraft it replaces
  • A 20% reduction in CO2 emissions
  • A 34% noise footprint reduction

The aircraft will join Air France's short- and medium-haul network almost immediately. It will be used on flights from the Air France hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to the following cities from Oct. 31:

  • Berlin (BER)
  • Barcelona (BCN)
  • Madrid (MAD)
  • Milan (MXP)

The aircraft will then add flights to Bologna, Rome, Lisbon and Copenhagen during the winter.

The first airplane is named Le Bourget as a tribute to the town north of Paris where Charles Lindbergh landed the Spirit of Saint Louis after he made his legendary flight across the Atlantic. The aircraft sports the emblematic Air France livery as well as the winged seahorse on the front of its fuselage and on its wingtips, symbolic of Air France's founding myth.

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The airline has spent the past few years revamping its fleet, beginning with the addition of the A350 to its long-haul network. The company ordered nearly 40 of the planes, which bring a 25% reduction in fuel burn, to replace the A380s and A340s in the Air France lineup. The airline's CEO said the new A220-300 was part of Air France's commitment to invest in smarter aircraft with state-of-the-art energy performance.

"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," Benjamin Smith, head of Air France-KLM, said in a statement. "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.”

Air France also says passengers will enjoy the comfort of the new single-aisle planes, thanks to the more spacious cabin and brighter lights, as well as full Wi-Fi connectivity via Air France Connect, the airline's inflight Wi-Fi service. It also offers USB ports as well as a tablet or smartphone holder in the seatback, and a cupholder smartly located beneath the tray table.

The seat is the widest on the market at 48 centimeters. It reclines to 118 degrees and features an adjustable headrest, leather upholstery and an ergonomic seat cushion.

The blue-and-white cabin is said to be the most spacious and brightest in its category. With regards to the lighting, specially adapted cabin mood lighting settings create bright, dynamic lighting from boarding to disembarkation. There are also softer lighting options to create a more relaxed atmosphere while in flight.

The cabin of the new A220-300 offers a more spacious experience for passengers. (photo courtesy of Air France)
The cabin of the new A220-300 offers a more spacious experience for passengers. (Image courtesy of Air France)

Related: First glimpse inside Air France's A350 aircraft

According to Air France, overhauling its fleet will help reduce its overall CO2 emissions per passenger/kilometer by 50% by 2030. Air France also remains committed to achieving the climate target of zero-net CO2 emissions by 2050.

The Airbus A220-300 has 148 seats, in a 3-2 seat configuration. This configuration will give 80% of customers a window or aisle seat. It will offer business- and economy-class seating.

The air in the cabin is also renewed every three minutes thanks to a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air)-type filter air recycling system that eliminates 99.9% of particles and viruses. This is now standard on Air France planes.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.