Qantas will place the largest order in its 103-year history tomorrow marking up for over 150 Airbus jets to take the airline towards its mark of net zero emissions by 2050.
This afternoon an Airbus A350-1000, adorned with a Qantas logo, with Airbus’s chief commercial officer Christian Scherer aboard, will transit Perth Airport on route to Sydney for the information.
Qantas’s pilots will help fly the A350-1000 from Perth to Sydney.
The order is for 12, 369-seat A350-1000s ultra-long-range jets, 20, 206-seat A321XLRs, and 20, 120-seat A220s plus over 106 purchase right options spread amongst the different types to be provided over 10 years.
Value at list prices, if all options are brought up is US$24.8 billion ($34b), however, orders of this size attract significant values.
The Airbus jets burn between 20 and 38 percent less fuel per passenger than the jets they will replace and they will be up to 50 percent quieter.
Australia to London nonstop as
The A350-1000 will be capable of flying from the east coast of Australia to London nonstop as well as to New York.
Qantas will also deploy the A350-1000 on the Perth to London route to replace the smaller 787-9 and the Airbus jet will also be able to fly from WA to the west coast of the USA opening up new route possibilities.
While designed for 369 passengers the A350 will only carry about 270 for the ultra-long-range flights and will be the roomiest of any Qantas jet.
According to the insiders, the configuration of the A350 will be four classes and economy passengers will get 34-inch (86.4cm) seat pitches, rather than the normal 31 inches (79cm). And the economy seats will be wider than those on the 787 and 747.
The Qantas A350 economy seats will be 18 inches (45.7cm) wide – nearly an inch (2.54cm) wider than those on the 787.
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First-class, business class, and the premium economy will all be “significantly” enhanced with more legroom in premium economy, closer to Air New Zealand’s industry high 42 inches (106.7cm).
Qantas selected the A350-1000 in December 2019 for its Project Sunrise but COVID grounded the order.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said
At the time Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told“the A350 is a fantastic aircraft and the agreement on the table with Airbus gives us the best possible combination of commercial terms, fuel efficiency, operating cost, and customer experience.”
Last year the airline also held a competition for the shorter range smaller jets to replace its 737-800s and 717s and announced in December, in a massive blow to Boeing, that Airbus was the preferred supplier with its A320 and A220 families of jets.
The A350-1000 will arrive late next year and the smaller jets in 2024.
The huge order is in addition to Qantas’s subsidiary Jetstar’s existing agreement with Airbus for over 100 aircraft in the A320neo family.
Qantas said in December that part of the deal with Airbus is the ability to combine these two orders so that the 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.
The A321neoXLR can carry about 15 percent more passengers on each flight than the airline’s existing B737-800s while being able to fly much further opening up new route options such as Perth to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
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