Qantas is on quite the roll when it comes to renewing its fleet. The airline has today announced an order for additional Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s, which will take the carrier’s fleet renewal strategy all the way into the 2030s.
Qantas orders 12 Airbus A350s & 12 Boeing 787s
Qantas has just placed a firm order for 24 additional wide body jets:
- Qantas has placed a firm order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, with deliveries expected to start in 2028; this complements Qantas’ recent order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, which will be used to operate the world’s longest flights (the additional A350s may feature more seats, and therefore be shorter range)
- Qantas has placed a firm order for 12 Boeing 787s, including four 787-9s and eight 787-10s, with deliveries expected to start in 2027; this complements Qantas’ existing fleet of 14 Boeing 787-9s
- Qantas has purchase right options to split between Airbus and Boeing to fully renew its long haul fleet and provide growth; furthermore, Qantas notes that both orders include significant flexibility to adjust the timing of deliveries
Just for some context on the order, this is intended to replace both the Airbus A330 and Airbus A380:
- The Boeing 787s will primarily be used to replace Airbus A330s, which will start to be retired as of 2027; Qantas has a fleet of 26 Airbus A330s, including 16 A330-200s and 10 A330-300s, which the airline primarily uses to operate premium transcontinental routes, flights to Asia, flights to Hawaii, etc.
- The Airbus A350s will primarily be used to replace Airbus A380s, which will start to be retired as of 2032; Qantas has a fleet of 10 Airbus A380s, which are used for premium long haul routes, like Sydney to Los Angeles, Singapore to London, etc.
Interestingly Qantas is naming its international fleet renewal program “Project Fysh,” in honor of Sir Hudson Fysh, who co-founded the airline and was Managing Director when it commenced international flying in 1935.
My take on Qantas’ long haul fleet renewal plan
Qantas has long been conservative with its long haul growth. While the airline seemingly always has a laundry list of new destinations it wants to serve, a shortage of aircraft prevents much of that expansion.
With that in mind, it’s nice to see the carrier’s full plan for renewing its fleet, though we’ll have to be patient. The first of these newly ordered planes will arrive in 2027, and those deliveries will take place well into the 2030s.
I’m impressed by the way in which Qantas is simplifying its long haul fleet in the long run, as it will exclusively fly Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s, compared to the previous fleet of Airbus A330s, Airbus A380s, and Boeing 787s.
I imagine the Boeing 787s will feature a similar configuration to what Qantas’ Dreamliners have right now (business class, premium economy, and economy, with a pretty dense configuration), though I think the real question is what the Airbus A350 cabins will be like. Since they’ll replace A380s, I imagine they’ll maintain first class.
The question is whether the cabins will look similar to those on the A350s that have already been ordered, or if the airline chooses a less premium configuration.
Qantas has placed an order for two dozen additional long haul aircraft, including 12 Airbus A350s and 12 Boeing 787s. These planes will start to be delivered in 2027, and will join the carrier’s fleet all the way into the 2030s. This is intended as Qantas’ long haul fleet renewal plan, eventually allowing the airline to retire A330s and A380s.
What do you make of Qantas’ A350 & 787 aircraft order?