Qantas has selected the Airbus A320neo and Airbus A220 families as the preferred aircraft for the renewal of its domestic narrow-body fleet. These aircraft will replace the existing Boeing 737 and 717 fleets over the next 10 years.
Qantas is looking at an initial order of 20 A321XLR and 20 A220-300 aircraft. On top of that, Qantas is intending to take out purchase options on another 94 aircraft.
The order is in addition to Jetstar’s existing agreement with Airbus for over 100 aircraft in the A320neo family. Part of this new deal includes combining these two orders. This will see the Qantas Group taking delivery of up to 299 A320 and A220 aircraft over the coming decade.
The initial firm order concentrates on the larger, single-aisle A321XLR, and the mid-size A220-300. In addition, Qantas will be looking at taking on the smaller A220-100.
The XLR can carry around 15 percent more passengers on each flight than the airline’s existing B737-800s. This makes it well suited to busy routes between capital cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. It may also be used to open up new city pairs.
The small and medium-size A220s provide Qantas with the flexibility to deploy these aircraft across its domestic and regional operations. They could be used during off-peak times between major cities and on key regional routes to increase frequency.
“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.