The first Airbus A220 designed for Air France recently left the Airbus paint shop in Mirabel, near Montréal. It sports the new Air France colors and notably features the winged seahorse, the historical symbol of the company embodying its rich history, at the front of the fuselage.
As it is made with lighter composite materials, the Airbus A220 uses 20% less fuel than previous generation aircraft and has a 34% reduced noise footprint. It will play a decisive role in achieving Air France’s sustainable development objectives, including a 50% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions on the domestic network from Paris-Orly and on interregional lines from here. 2024, and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger / km by 2030.
Before joining Paris to transport Air France customers, the aircraft will undergo a series of ground and flight tests. On arrival, it will be used for more than a month to train the airline’s flight crews, some of whom started the so-called “type rating” procedure last summer.
As with any new type of aircraft entering the fleet, the company has set up two cores, one made up of pilots and the other of flight attendants. These already qualified team members will then be responsible for training their colleagues within the framework of internal programs validated by the authorities.
Last September, eight instructor pilots underwent 8-week theoretical and practical training at the Airbus training center in Montreal. They are currently training their colleagues – including 28 other instructors who complete the launch pilot team – in particular using a Full Flight Simulator (FFS) mounted on jacks, and assembled at the Air France flight simulation center in Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Once Air France has taken delivery of the first aircraft, this simulator training will be supplemented by around twenty flights in real conditions, with a view to obtaining the A220-300 type rating. Nearly 700 Air France pilots will eventually be qualified on this aircraft.
The same central group system is used for cabin crews, with 14 flight attendants trained in Zurich between September and December 2020. They are currently finalizing the training manuals and content that they will themselves be responsible for providing from September 2021. The hard core has selected and trained a group of 37 flight attendants to complete the practical training the flight of Cabin Crew Members as soon as the A220 is brought into service. Two A220 door models were installed at the Air France Crew Academy in Paray Vieille-Poste, near Paris-Orly, to train some 2,500 flight attendants.
In addition to the pilots and flight attendants, the whole company is preparing to welcome the Airbus A220. From maintenance to station personnel, all operational sectors are preparing for the arrival of this latest generation aircraft.
The Air France Airbus A220 will be able to accommodate 148 passengers in a 3-2 cabin configuration. Each seat will be equipped with USB Type A and Type C ports and all passengers will have Wi-Fi access from their personal devices.
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