July 4, 2022

Qantas is expected to place a massive aircraft order on Monday, including for the Airbus A350-1000, which will allow the airline to operate the world’s longest flights.

Qantas will order 12 Airbus A350-1000s

It’s being reported that Qantas will on Monday be placing a firm order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, which the airline will use for its “Project Sunrise” flights, expected to commence in 2025.

For those not familiar with this, Qantas hopes to fly nonstop from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London, though currently no commercial aircraft are capable of operating this in an economical way. That’s expected to finally change, as Airbus will modify the A350 (by adding fuel tanks) to make it capable of operating these missions.

These flights will all be 10,000+ miles, and could take 20+ hours, and would be the world’s longest flights. They’d represent a huge reduction in travel time for these markets, and would likely be popular, especially with premium travelers.

We should learn all of the details on Monday, though based on what’s being reported:

  • Qantas’ A350-1000s will feature roughly 270 seats, significantly fewer than you’d find on other airlines
  • The planes will feature four classes of service, including first class, business class, premium economy, and economy
  • Economy will feature 34″ of pitch, which is incredibly generous, and much more spacious than what you’d typically find in economy (where 31″ is the standard for long haul flights)
  • It’s expected that first class, business class, and premium economy, will all also be upgraded over the existing products, though details remain to be seen

For what it’s worth, Airbus is currently flying an A350-1000 from Toulouse to Australia, clearly in preparation for this announcement. The A350-1000 has the Qantas logo on it, and the hashtag #LongRangeLeader.

Qantas will finalize A321XLR & A220-300 order

While I’d say the A350-1000 order is going to be the most exciting part of this announcement, Qantas is also expected to finalize its order for the A321XLR and A220-300. The airline first announced its intention to order Airbus jets in late 2021, but the order wasn’t finalized.

At the time:

  • Qantas made a firm commitment for 20 Airbus A321XLRs, which is the longest range and largest version of the Airbus A320 family
  • Qantas made a firm commitment for 20 Airbus A220-300s, which is the largest version of the Airbus A220 family
  • There will be purchase rights for a further 94 aircraft over a 10 year delivery window, which could include other A320neo family aircraft, plus the smaller A220-100

So we’ll see how exactly this shakes out on Monday, but it’s expected that this will be Qantas’ biggest-ever aircraft order when all is said and done.

Qantas is ordering A321s and A220s

Bottom line

While we’ll have to wait for the full details, Qantas is expected to place its largest aircraft order ever on Monday. This includes ordering 12 Airbus A350-1000s, which will be used for Project Sunrise flights, directly connecting Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London.

In addition to that, it sounds like we should expect Qantas to finalize its order for the A321XLR and A220-300, which will be used for renewing the carrier’s short haul fleet.

This is all very exciting, and I can’t wait to learn all the details.

What do you make of Qantas’ big Airbus order?

See also  Weekly Review: June 18, 2022