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Qantas Selects Airbus A320neo and A220 Families as Preferred Aircraft for Domestic Fleet Renewal

Qantas has announced a preliminary agreement for an order and purchase options for up to 134 Airbus A320neo and A220 Family aircraft over the next 10 years. The new order combines with an existing Jetstar order giving the Group flexibility on aircraft type and timing.

Qantas Airbus A321neoXLR Rendering - Courtesy Airbus/Qantas

On Thursday (December 16, 2021), Qantas announced the selection of Airbus A320neo and A220 Family aircraft as the preferred models for their long-term domestic narrowbody fleet renewal. A preliminary agreement has been reached for an order and purchase options for up to 134 aircraft over the next 10 years. Qantas has made a firm commitment for 40 aircraft including 20 A321neoXLRs and 20 A220s, with the order expected to be placed by the end of FY22. The carrier will also hold a further 94 purchase right options over a 10 year delivery window as Qantas phases out their existing Boeing 737-800s and 717s. The new order is in addition to Jetstar’s existing agreement with Airbus for over 100 A320neo Family aircraft. Both orders will be combined so the Group can draw down a total of 299 deliveries across the A320 and A220 Families as needed over the next decade and beyond.

In Thursday’s announcement, Qantas Group’s 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 we’ve navigated through the pandemic, which is a credit to the whole organization. This is a clear sign of our confidence in the future and we’ve locked in pricing just ahead of what’s likely to be a big uptick in demand for next-generation narrow-body aircraft. That’s good news for our customers, our people and our shareholders. We’ll be having discussions with our people to ensure we have the arrangements necessary to support such a large investment.

“Can I thank Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and the engine manufacturers for the efforts they put into this process. This was a very tough choice to make. Each option delivered on our core requirements around safety, capability and emissions reductions. But when you multiply even small benefits in areas like range or cost across this many aircraft and over the 20 years they’ll be in the fleet, Airbus was the right choice as preferred tenderer.

“The Airbus deal had the added advantage of providing ongoing flexibility within the order, meaning we can continue to choose between the entire A320neo and A220 families depending on our changing needs in the years ahead. The ability to combine the Jetstar and Qantas order for the A320 type was also a factor. The A320 will be new for Qantas Domestic, but we already know it’s a great aircraft because it’s been the backbone of Jetstar’s success for more than 15 years and more recently operating the resources industry in Western Australia. The A220 is such a versatile aircraft which has become popular with airline customers in the United States and Europe because it has the capability to fly regional routes as well as longer sectors between capital cities.

“The combination of small, medium and large jets and the different range and economics they each bring means we can have the right aircraft on the right route. For customers, that means having more departures throughout the day on a smaller aircraft, or extra capacity at peak times with a larger aircraft. Or the ability to start a new regional route because the economics of the aircraft make it possible. We have some exciting plans for the next-generation cabins we’ll put on these aircraft, which will offer improvements for passengers that we’ll share in coming months. Importantly, these aircraft will deliver a step change in reducing fuel burn and carbon emissions compared with our current fleet, which gets us closer to the net zero target we’ve set.”

Basic Specifications for Airbus A32-neo and A220 Family Aircraft - Courtesy Qantas/Airbus

Qantas Airbus A220-300 Rendering - Courtesy Airbus/Qantas

Today’s announcement follows a detailed review by Qantas’ engineering, flight operations, customer experience, network, fleet procurement and finance teams. During the evaluation process, the airline conducted a detailed review of the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX Families of aircraft, as well as the smaller Airbus A220 and Embraer E190/E195-E2s. Qantas’ initial firm order includes the larger Airbus A321XLR and the mid-size A220-300, with purchase rights for the smaller A220-100, giving the carrier a fleet mix that can deliver better network choices and route economics.

Source: Qantas


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