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May 27, 2024
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UPDATE – Qantas has placed orders for twelve additional Airbus A350-1000s and twelve Boeing 787s as part of its fleet renewal plan. Scheduled for delivery from FY27, the aircraft will eventually replace the A330s and A380s, the airline said on August 24.

Reports earlier this week suggested that Qantas would order the Boeing 787-10 only, but the airline disclosed that the order is for four more 787-9s and eight 787-10s. Deliveries of the General Electric GEnx-1A powered aircraft will start in FY27. The order, which is part of Project Fysh, includes purchase rights through FY37 and flexibility on the timing of deliveries.

Qantas already operates fourteen 787-9s, but the -10 is a new version in the fleet. The new Dreamliners will replace the existing fleet of Airbus A330s, which will have reached an average age of 21 years when phasing out starts. Yet, Qantas says that “aircraft scheduled to leave the Qantas fleet towards the end of the replacement program will undergo a cabin refurbishment from FY25, including next-generation seats in the Economy cabin.”

A350s to replace the A380s

The twelve newly ordered A350-1000s will join Qantas from FY28. They too will replace the sixteen A330-200s and ten -300s that are currently between fifteen and over nineteen years old. In the long term, the twin jets will also replace the ten A380s that the airline will have brought back to service by the end of the year. Back in June, CEO Alan Joyce said that the A380 would have another ten years of service with Qantas and would not be replaced by the A350-1000s that are part of the Project Sunrise order and will arrive from FY26.

These aircraft come with a 238-seat, four-class cabin, while the aircraft now ordered will have a higher seat count to align with the A330 and A380. Like the 787 order, Qantas has flexibility and future purchase rights with Airbus. 

“This is another multi-billion dollar investment in the national carrier and it’s great news for our customers and our people. 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,” Joyce said in a media statement. Qantas negotiated excellent prices and terms for the widebodies, which will be purchased within its debt range and through earnings, his successor Vanessa Hudson added.

Part of the agreement with Boeing and Airbus is the purchase of up to 500 million liters of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) per year from 2028. This allows Qantas to meet ninety percent of its interim target for SAF for 2030. The airline will be partnering with Boeing and Airbus on SAF projects, including those in the US. Qantas has an existing SAF project with Airbus and announced a $400 million climate fund for SAF.

A220 deliveries delayed

Qantas also provided updates on its fleet plan and aircraft deliveries. The first two of 29 Airbus A220-300s for QantasLink will be delivered before the end of 2023, but subsequent deliveries are expected to be four months late due to supply chain issues. The fleet plan shows three deliveries in FY24, four in FY25, and eleven in FY26. QantasLink will also take delivery of its 22nd Embraer E190 on wet lease from Alliance Airlines before the end of the year. The first three A321XLRs are due in FY25, with nine scheduled for FY26.

Seven A320ceo’s for Jetstar Asia will be sourced to meet demand before the end of December. Jetstar Australia should take delivery of seven A321LRs in FY24, seven in FY25, one in FY26, five A320neo’s in FY25, and three A321XLRs in FY26. 

author avatar
Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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