EgyptAir has taken delivery of the first of 12 A220-300 aircraft on order, thereby becoming the first A220 operator in the Middle East and North African region.

The airline plans to fly the aircraft on routes to and from Cairo in the near future.

The aircraft was handed over to Egyptair officials at the A220 Mirabel final assembly line.

Egyptair Holding Company chairman and CEO Captain Ahmed Adel said: “We are proud to welcome our very first A220 aircraft and to be the first airline in the Middle East and North African region to take delivery and launch commercial operations of the A220, the most innovative and technologically advanced aircraft in the world.

“Airbus’ A220 airliners are integral to the execution of Egyptair business development strategy Horizon 2025 and fleet optimisation plan.”

Airbus Canada Partnership CEO Philippe Balducchi said: “We are delighted to welcome Egyptair to the growing family of A220 operators and look forward to seeing their passengers enjoy the experience of travelling on board the A220‘s bright, spacious and modern cabin.”

The A220-300 features a two-class cabin with 140-seats, comprising 15 premium economy and 125 economy class seats.

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This aircraft is purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market and is claimed to offer fuel efficiency and wide-body passenger comfort.

It features aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan engines. It also offers at least 20% lower fuel burn per seat when compared to previous-generation aircraft. It is claimed to provide the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft.

Egyptair currently operates a fleet of 15 Airbus aircraft. It is yet to receive 15 A320neo aircraft and 11 A220 aircraft in the coming years.

Airbus has an order book of more than 500 A220 aircraft at the end of last month.

Earlier this month, Airbus and AirAsia signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for three new projects in Malaysia.