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Qantas Retires its Boeing 717

This has been a significant week for the Australian flag carrier Qantas. The airline said farewell to the first deccomissioned Boeing 717, which has been a backbone of its regional operations in the past 2 decades. Lets find out more about this news and how the airline plans to replace the jets.

A Little About The Boeing 717

The Boeing 717 is one of the least famous and flashy planes ever produced by Boeing. The plane is a T-tail plane with two tail mounted engines. If the plane gives you strong MD-80″Mad Dog” or MD-90 vibes, that’s simply because it was its successor.

The Boeing 717 was developed by McDonnell-Douglas as the MD-95. With the firm being absorbed into Boeing the project was renamed as the Boeing 717. The plane was designed to serve medium to short haul flights with 156 of the type being built.

Qantas took delivery of 20 of the type that it used for its regional division, Qantas Link, and also passed some on to Jetstar for the LCC’s initial flights.

The 717’s design dates back to the mid ’90s when it was developed, which makes it quite outdated in the fuel efficient world of modern aviation. That’s exactly why QF is saying goodbye to them.

Qantas retires its Boeing 717-200

Qantas: Out With the 717 in With the A220

May 29th marked the day the Aussie airline said farewell to the first of its 20 Boeing 717. The first plane of the type to leave the Qantas fleet is VH-NXI. This specific plane was produced in 1999 and has been flying for QantasLink for 15 years under the name “Blue Mountains”.

Gradually in the coming months and years the remaining QF Boeing 717 will be also retired. The 717s will be replaced by one of traveller’s favourite aircraft, the Airbus A220. This is all part of the fleet renewal “Project Winton” that will completely transform Qantas’ fleet.

Qantas, and QantasLink, will take delivery as soon as late 2023 of their first A220-300s. These planes will mainly operate on regional routes. However the plane’s capacity, efficiency and range can also enable the airline to eye routes that might not have been profitable with another aircraft type. Currently Qantas has orders for 29 Airbus A220-300s.

Qantas replaces its Boeing 717-200 with the A220-300

The Advantages For The Airline

Replacing the 717-200 with the A220-300 comes with significant advantages for the airline. As mentioned above the A220 offers significant operational flexibility thanks to its range efficiency and capacity. Many airlines in Europe are using it for medium, almost long, range routes where demand might not be particularly high.

That aside the plane clearly outperforms its predecessor. The A220 allows to:

  • Carry 25% more passengers on a full load.
  • Have double the range compared to the 717.
  • Burn 28% less fuel per passenger.
  • Ensure a better on board experience with its roomy cabin and large windows.

About the author

Alex Achille

Ex Cabin Crew with Emirates, I've always loved travelling and other cultures. In this website I'll be sharing my experiences along with my reviews of the latest Korean Dramas and TV Series I've watched.

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