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Thu, 16 December 2021

Qantas Unveils Plan to Order 40 Single-Aisle Airbus Aircraft

(16 Dec 2021)  Qantas has selected the Airbus A320neo and Airbus A220 families as the preferred aircraft for the long-term renewal of its domestic narrow-body fleet.

A firm commitment for 40 aircraft 20 A321XLR (extra long-range) and 20 A220 aircraft is expected to be placed with Airbus by the end of FY22, following discussions with employees about arrangements to operate the new aircraft types and a final decision by the Qantas Board.

The airline will also have options on a further 94 aircraft over a 10-plus year delivery window as its existing Boeing 737-800s and 717s are gradually phased out.

Qantas Airbus A220-300. Click to enlarge.
Qantas Airbus A220-300

The order is in addition to Jetstars existing agreement with Airbus for over 100 aircraft in the A320neo family. Part of this new deal includes combining the two orders so that the Qantas Group can draw down on a total of 299 deliveries across both the A320 and A220 families as needed over the next decade and beyond for Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar.

Once finalised, the aircraft order will represent the largest in Australian aviation history.

The decision to select Airbus follows a detailed evaluation of the A320neo and B737 MAX families as well as the smaller A220 and Embraer E190/195-E2s.

Selected Aircraft

The initial firm order concentrates on the larger, single-aisle A321XLR, and the mid-size A220-300 with purchase right options for the smaller A220-100.

The XLR can carry around 15 per cent more passengers on each flight than the airlines existing B737-800s, making it well suited to busy routes between capital cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Its longer range means it can also be used to open up new city pairs.

The small and medium size A220s provide the group with flexibility to deploy the aircraft throughout most of its domestic and regional operations. They could be used during off peak times between major cities and on key regional routes to increase frequency.

Both aircraft types will be powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines and will deliver fuel savings of between 15-20 per cent, contributing to the airlines broader emission reduction efforts.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said, This is a long-term renewal plan with deliveries and payments spread over the next decade and beyond, but the similarly long lead time for aircraft orders means we need to make these decisions now. Qantas is in a position to make these commitments because of the way weve navigated through the pandemic, which is a credit to the whole organization. This is a clear sign of our confidence in the future and weve locked in pricing just ahead of whats likely to be a big uptick in demand for next-generation narrow-body aircraft. Thats good news for our customers, our people and our shareholders. Well be having discussions with our people to ensure we have the arrangements necessary to support such a large investment.

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