Qantas has ordered 12 Airbus A350-1000s as well
as four Boeing 787-9s and eight 787-10s that will progressively
replace the airline's existing A330s once they start to arrive
The national carrier has also negotiated additional purchase
right options, split evenly between both manufacturers, to give
flexibility for future growth and ultimately replace its 10 A380s
with A350s from around 2032 onwards.
Qantas’ A330 aircraft mostly operate on
international flights to Asia and the United States as well as
some domestic flights. The longer range delivered by the 787 and
A350 aircraft on order means they will be able to operate all the
routes on the airline’s current international network, as well as
open up new ones.
Qantas’ 787-9s at 62.8 metres is around the same
length as the A330s they will replace, while the 787-10 at 68.3 metres is around five metres longer. Both 787 models will be
powered by General Electric GEnx engines which help to provide a
noise footprint around 60 per cent smaller than those of previous
generation aircraft. The 787-9 also delivers a 20 per cent
improvement in fuel use, and around 25 percent for the 787-10, as
compared to previous generation aircraft. Deliveries are expected
to begin in FY27.
The airline’s A350-1000s at 72.25 metres is 8.5 metres
longer than the A330s they will replace and the same length as the
A380. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB-97
engines, providing a 50 per cent noise footprint reduction from
previous generation aircraft. The A350 also enables a 25 per cent
advantage in fuel burn and CO2 emissions compared to previous
generation aircraft. Deliveries are expected to commence in FY28.
The average age of Qantas’ A330 fleet will be 21
years at the time the replacement program starts in FY27, which is
in line with the group’s typical replacement profile.
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
“This is another multi-billion dollar investment
in the national carrier and it’s great news for our customers and
our people,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO. “This investment
is 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.”
As part of the deal with both Airbus and Boeing,
Qantas will secure access to up to 500 million litres of
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) per annum that is expected to
start flowing from 2028, potentially meeting up to 90 per cent of
the group’s interim SAF target for 2030.
As a direct alternative to traditional jet
kerosene, SAF reduces lifecycle carbon emissions by up to 80 per
cent and is a key part of Qantas’ emissions reduction plan.
Access to these supplies will be enabled by
partnering with Boeing and Airbus on SAF projects, including in
the United States. Qantas expects to purchase the SAF at
favourable prices due to supportive government policies in the US.
While these agreements support the group’s interim
targets, access to an Australian SAF industry is critical to
reaching the industry’s broader commitment to reach net zero by
Qantas has previously announced a $400 million
climate fund aimed at investing in similar projects locally to
help kickstart a domestic SAF industry in Australia.
“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,” said CEO designate, Vanessa
Hudson. “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.”
Qantas Fleet Renewal
The Qantas Group is on track to receive the first
two QantasLink A220 aircraft by the end of this calendar year with
subsequent deliveries expected to be delayed by up to four months
as a result of supply chain disruption.
The first of seven mid-life 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 calendar year 2024, with a further 20
A321LRs and A321XLRs set to be delivered by calendar year 2029.
The first of 12 Airbus A350-1000 ULRs for Project
Sunrise are due to arrive in FY26.