Air Austral has signed a firm order for three A220 aircraft.
With the order, the Réunion Island-based airline 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.
“This new generation aircraft will join the airline from the end of 2020 with the aim of harmonizing part of its fleet and strengthening its operations,” said Marie-Joseph Malé, chief executive 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,” he added.
The design of the new clean sheet single-aisle aircraft allows for more seats, offering extra revenue potential to airlines, especially to those located in remote areas, and extra usable cargo volume capacity.
“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 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market.
Airbus claims it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and widebody passenger comfort in a single-aisle aircraft.