Air Austral, France’s Réunion Island-based
airline, has signed a firm order for three Airbus A220 aircraft
(formerly the Bombardier C Series).
With this order, Air Austral becomes the first
A220 customer based in the Indian Ocean region.
"Air Austral has chosen the A220-300 as part of
the renewal of its medium and short haul fleet. These
new-generation aircraft will join the airline from the end of 2020
with the aim of harmonising part of its fleet and strengthening
its operations,” said Marie-Joseph Malé, Chief Executive Officer
of Air Austral. "The economic and operational performance of the
A220 opens new possibilities for the development of our regional
network from our main base - Réunion Island - in an efficient and
rational way. The 132-seat capacity module, which is more
flexible, will allow us to increase our frequencies while offering
more comfort to our customers and crews."
The A220, purpose-built for the 100-150 seat
market, is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G
geared turbofan engines.
“With its unrivalled performance and operational
flexibility, the A220 is the perfect aircraft for Air Austral to
reinforce routes between Réunion Island and its neighbours in the
Indian Ocean, as well as connecting the island further afield,”
said Christopher Buckley, Executive Vice-President Commercial –
Airbus. “Airlines from all around the world are acknowledging the
A220’s economics and it is a great honour that Air Austral will be
the first A220 operator in the region.”
The A220 had an order book of over 500 aircraft
at the end of September 2019.