Airlines Qantas chooses Airbus aircraft for long-term fleet renewal

Australian flag-carrier Qantas Airways has officially confirmed its choice to renew its fleet with Airbus aircraft.

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Qantas Airways has announced a major fleet renewal plan by purchasing up to nearly 150 Airbus aircraft. The airline decided to pursue project Sunrise, which sees 12 Airbus A350-1000s joining the fleet. With these long-range aircraft, Qantas will be able to offer direct flights between the UK and Australian destinations.

After initially announcing Project Winton in December 2021, meaning state-of-the-art Airbus A220s and A321XLRs for the domestic fleet will be introduced, Qantas Airways has now made public, that it will broaden this order with by adding additional aircraft types like the A350.

The firm purchase order consists of 12 Airbus A350-1000s, 20 A220s and 20 A321XLRs. The order was announced during a ceremony held in Sydney in attendance of Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, Christian Scherer. According to the carrier, Qantas also holds purchase rights for 94 aircraft in the domestic market segment.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce commented: “New types of aircraft make new things possible. That’s what makes today’s announcement so significant for the national carrier and for a country like Australia where air travel is crucial.

With the new aircraft, Qantas hopes to welcome up to 4 million additional passengers a year. Furthermore, the bigger fleet will create over 1000 new jobs and more carrier progression opportunities. At the same time, the new aircraft will help Qantas to achieve more sustainable and efficient operations. All new Airbus aircraft feature high bypass-ratio engines which allow a lower noise and fuel consumption.

“These newer aircraft and engines will reduce emissions by at least 15 per cent if running on fossil fuels, and significantly better when run on Sustainable Aviation Fuel. This order brings us closer to our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Project Sunrise will be carbon neutral from day one,“ said Joyce.

Qantas Airbus A350-1000 © Qantas
Qantas Airbus A350-1000 © Qantas

Project Sunrise sees the introduction of new routes like flights between New York and London and Australia. With flights between London and Melbourne, Qantas seeks to write aviation history. The flight will take about 20 hours to complete.

Deliveries for Project Sunrise are set to begin in 2025 and to be completed by 2028. The firm orders of A220 aircraft from Project Winton will be starting to arrive in late 2023, while the A321XLRs will be delivered from late 2024.

Qantas is the flag-carrier airline of Australia and over the past years has successively modernized its fleet. The airline has bid farewell to the 747 and 767, as well as to aging 737. Its low-cost subsidiary airline Jetstar will receive the 20 ordered A321XLR to modernize their operations. Combined, Jetstar has now 109 A320 Family aircraft on order through the group.

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