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Airbus 12, Boeing 12: Qantas Orders Aircraft for International Fleet

  • Qantas Places Firm Order for Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Aircraft 
  • Airbus A350-1000: Qantas’ New Addition 

In a significant move to modernize its international fleet, Qantas has placed a firm order for 12 Airbus A350 and 12 Boeing 787 aircraft. This strategic decision replaces the current A330 and A380 fleets over the next decade and includes purchase-right options to facilitate future growth and fleet renewal. 

Qantas Commits to Sustainability Goals with Aviation Fuel Agreement 

As part of the deal, Qantas has secured access to up to 500 million liters of sustainable aviation fuel, marking a significant step towards achieving the Group’s emissions targets by 2030. 

This crucial agreement enhances our pathway to reach our 2030 emissions targets, signifying our commitment to a more sustainable future for aviation.

Qantas Group’s Latest Move in Jet Fleet Renewal 

The Qantas Group has disclosed the last component of its jet fleet renewal, with a concrete order for 24 aircraft to gradually replace its existing A330s. 

Details of the Multi-billion Dollar Qantas Aircraft Order 

Split between 12 Airbus A350s and 12 Boeing 787s, the multi-billion dollar order is slated for delivery from FY27 into the subsequent decade. The Group has also secured additional purchase right options, divided equally between both manufacturers, ensuring flexibility for future expansion and the eventual replacement of its 10 A380s with A350s starting from around FY32. 

Current Operations & Future Possibilities 

The A330 aircraft of Qantas primarily handles international flights to Asia and the United States, along with certain domestic routes. The enhanced range provided by the ordered 787 and A350 aircraft will ensure they can cover all routes of the airline’s current international network while introducing new ones. 

Qantas’ Replacement Program & Cabin Refurbishment 

By the time the replacement program commences in FY27, the average age of Qantas’ A330 fleet will be 21 years, conforming to the Group’s typical replacement timeline. Aircraft scheduled for retirement towards the end of the renewal program will undergo cabin refurbishments from FY25, incorporating next-generation seating in the Economy class

‘Project Fysh’ – Honoring Qantas’ Co-founder 

In a tribute to Sir Hudson Fysh, co-founder of the airline and its Managing Director when international flights were initiated in 1935, Qantas has named its international fleet renewal ‘Project Fysh’.

Details of the Qantas Sustainable Aviation Fuel Deal 

In a significant agreement with both Airbus and Boeing, Qantas has secured the provision of up to 500 million liters of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) annually, set to commence in 2028. 

This initiative can potentially satisfy up to 90% of the Group’s interim SAF target for 2030.

As an effective substitute for conventional jet kerosene, SAF can reduce carbon emissions by as much as 80% throughout its lifecycle. This feature makes it a crucial component of Qantas’s carbon reduction plans. 

Access to these supplies will be facilitated through collaborations with Boeing and Airbus on SAF projects, including those in the United States. Leveraging supportive government policies in the US, Qantas anticipates procuring the SAF at advantageous prices.

Despite these agreements aiding in achieving the Group’s short-term targets, establishing an SAF industry in Australia is imperative to fulfill the broader industry commitment of reaching net zero by 2050.

Qantas has previously announced a $400 million climate fund to invest in similar projects locally to help kick-start a domestic SAF industry in Australia.

Qantas CEO Comments on Fleet Order

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said:

“This is another multi-billion dollar investment in the national carrier and it’s great news for our customers and our people. It’s in addition to the 149 firm aircraft we still have on order to continue renewing the domestic fleet for Qantas and Jetstar, and for the non-stop Project Sunrise flights to London and New York. Both the 787 and A350, and the GE and Rolls-Royce engines fitted to them, are thoroughly proven and extremely capable. These are generational decisions for this company. The aircraft will arrive over a decade or more and they’ll be part of the fleet for 20 years. They’ll unlock new routes and better travel experiences for customers, and new jobs and promotions for our people.”

CEO designate Vanessa Hudson said:

“We effectively started these negotiations off the back of the narrowbody and Sunrise campaigns, and that momentum helped deliver pricing and delivery slots that makes this an excellent opportunity for the Group. Our ability to afford these aircraft comes from years of restructuring and strengthening our balance sheet, and our confidence about the future. Our entire fleet plan has a lot of flexibility built into it so we can slow down deliveries or, within reason, bring them forward depending on the broader market. The phasing of these orders mean they can be funded within our debt range and through earnings, on top of continuing shareholder returns in line with our financial framework.This deal gives the Qantas Group access to sustainable aviation fuel supplies out of the United States, making us one of the first airlines in the world to have a pathway to achieving our 2030 SAF targets.”

Details of the Qantas Fleet Order

Boeing Aircrafts: A solid order has been placed for four 787-9 and eight 787-10 aircraft, with the delivery process commencing from Financial Year 27. 

Airbus Aircrafts: A confirmed order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s has been made, with the delivery scheduled to begin from Financial Year 28. 

The purchase rights have been evenly distributed between Airbus and Boeing. This strategic decision is aimed at completing the replacement of the A330 and A380 fleet and fostering growth. 

Both orders have been placed with significant flexibility in mind, allowing for adjusting delivery timings as per necessity.

About the Qantas Fleet Orders

Boeing 787-9 and 787-10 Specifications 

Qantas 787-9 aircraft rendering.
Qantas 787-9 aircraft rendering. Source: Qantas
Qantas 787-10 aircraft rendering.
Qantas 787-10 aircraft rendering. Source: Qantas
  • The Qantas’ 787-9, measuring 62.8 meters, is approximately the same length as the A330s they are set to replace. Conversely, the 787-10 is approximately five meters longer, with a length of 68.3 meters.
  • Both 787 models will be equipped with General Electric GEnx engines.
  • The noise footprint of the 787 is 60 percent smaller compared to previous generation aircraft.
  • The 787-9 and the 787-10 are designed for efficiency, delivering a fuel use improvement of 20 percent and around 25 percent, respectively, compared to previous-generation aircraft.
  • The Qantas Group is on track to receive the first two QantasLink A220 aircraft by the end of this calendar year. However, due to supply chain disruption, subsequent deliveries are expected to be delayed by up to four months.

Qantas Fleet: Airbus A320, E190s, and A350 Aircraft 

  • The first of seven midlife A320 family aircraft to meet growing resources flying and Jetstar Asia recovery are expected to arrive before the end of December 2023.
  • Twenty-two of the previously announced E190s wet-leased from Alliance Airlines are scheduled to have joined the Qantas fleet by the end of December 2023.
  • Two more A321 converted freighters are expected to arrive by the end of December 2023.
  • Jetstar’s 18 Airbus A321LRs are on track to enter the fleet by the end of 2024, with a further 20 A321LRs and A321XLRs set to be delivered by 2029.
  • The first of 12 Airbus A350-1000 ULRs for Project Sunrise will arrive in FY26.

Qantas’ Airbus A350-1000 Specifications

Qantas A350-1000 in-flight, rendering.

The A350-1000 aircraft, the newest addition to Qantas’ fleet, measures 72.25 meters long. This makes it 8.5 meters longer than the A330s it will replace and the exact size of the A380. 

Powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, the A350-1000 is expected to deliver exceptional performance. 

The A350 provides a 50 percent noise footprint reduction from previous-generation aircraft. This significant decrease in noise pollution signifies Qantas’ commitment to more eco-friendly practices.

In addition, the A350 offers tangible advantages in terms of fuel efficiency. It enables a 25 percent advantage in fuel burn and CO2 emissions compared to previous-generation aircraft. This represents significant cost savings and aligns with Qantas’ commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

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