Qantas confirms historic order for Airbus, including A350 for long-haul flights

Australian carrier closes deal for 20 A321XLR, 20 A220-300 and twelve A350-1000 capable of flying for 20 hours nonstop

Qantas and Airbus have entered into a massive aircraft agreement that includes 40 single-aisle jets and twelve widebodies that will renew their fleet starting in 2023. The order had already been disclosed previously, but was still pending a definitive agreement.

The Australian airline closed an order for 20 A220-300 and 20 A321XLR, at Project Winton, in addition to 94 purchase options. The two aircraft will replace the Boeing 717 and 737 currently in service, offering greater range and more economical and sustainable operation.

While the A220-300 will be configured with 137 seats (10 business and 127 economy), the A321XLR, the longest-range single-aisle jet in history, will be able to carry 200 passengers (20 business and 180 economy). Both jets will be powered by Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engines.

Qantas A350-1000 first class (Airbus)

Sunrise Project

Qantas also confirmed the choice of the A350-1000 as the aircraft that will be used in Project Sunrise, which aims to launch flights of up to 20 hours in duration on routes such as Sydney-London and Sydney-New York.

Airbus’ largest twin-engine jet will be configured with fewer seats (238) in four classes with more than 40% of the cabin equipped with premium seating.

Qantas’ goal is to be able to reduce travel time by up to four hours on voyages by eliminating a technical stopover for refueling. To overcome the effects of the long period in a pressurized environment, the carrier intends to offer well-being areas in the cabin, so that passengers can stretch out and relax.

The expectation is that the price of air tickets for these flights will be higher to compensate for the lower occupancy. The Project Sunrise routes will be carried out by 12 A350-1000s that will be delivered from the end of 2025.

A321XLR range map (Qantas)
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