Iraqi Airways Takes Delivery Of Its First Airbus A220

The first A220 for Iraqi Airways has left Montreal and is en route to Baghdad. The aircraft has made a stop in Manchester, UK, this morning, and will continue its journey later tonight. This is the first of five A220s for the airline, which will be complemented by new 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliners as part of a major fleet renewal endeavor.

Iraqi Airways A220
Iraqi Airways’ first A220 is on its way to its new home. Photo: Airbus

Iraqi Airways first A220 is on its way

Iraqi Airways is preparing to welcome its first Airbus A220 to its fleet, as the aircraft has left Montreal and is on route to its new home in the Middle East. This is the first of five A220s headed for the airline, making it one of the more exotic operators of the popular regional jet.

Registered YI-ARE and flying under the apt flight number of IA2220, the new A220 took off from Montreal at 16:00 EST yesterday. Flying overnight, it was in the air for just shy of seven hours before landing at Manchester Airport in the UK. It touched down at just before 06:00 this morning.

Iraqi Airways Takes Delivery Of Its First Airbus A220
The A220 made a stop in Manchester on the way. Photo:

According to schedules, it will take off again later today, bound for Baghdad. Departure is scheduled for around 18:00 this afternoon. It will join the airline’s 32-strong fleet of aircraft, with A320 family and 737s providing short to mid-haul services, two 747s and a 777-200LR for long-haul and six CRJ900s running regional routes.

As well as the additional four A220s, Iraqi Airways is expecting delivery of 16 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and a fleet of 10 787-8 Dreamliners. The carrier is working hard to be removed from its current ban on flying within the EU, which has been in place since 2020 over issues regarding safety.

Iraqi Airways longstanding A220 order

The Iraqi Airways A220 deal was signed while the aircraft was still the Bombardier CSeries, back in January 2014. It was announced as a letter of intent at the Dubai Airshow the year before, and firmed up for five CS300s with options for a further 11.

At the time, AIN reported that Iraqi Airways CEO and director-general Saad Al-Khafaji said the airline intended to use the type on services to secondary airports, including Basra and Najaf. Al-Khafaji is quoted as saying,

“In Baghdad we use big aircraft, but in the other airports we’ll use aircraft that for us are normal size–150 seats or less.”

Iraqi Airways A220
The A220 is the first of five to arrive with the airline. Photo: Iraqi Airways

The order called for the cabins to be outfitted with 12 first class seats and 120 economy seats. At the time of the firm order, deliveries were expected to start in 2016. Now, finally, we can enjoy seeing an A220 in Iraqi Airways livery arriving in Baghdad.

The airline has already picked an IFEC supplier for the planes, having announced the selection of Panasonic Avionics in November last year. The company will be providing both inflight entertainment and WiFi onboard not only the A220s but the entire new fleet. `Panasonic will add its X Series IFE solutions to the A220s, 787s and 737 MAX, alongside its eXW WiFi product.