Qantas announced the choice of Airbus aircraft to renew its short-haul jet fleet. According to the Australian airline, the A320neo and A220 families were selected as “preferred” in an agreement that could reach 134 aircraft in a period of 10 plus years.
The Boeing 737 MAX and the Embraer E2 also competed, aircraft that would have been under the same group if the US planemaker had not given up on the joint venture with the Brazilian company in 2020.
Qantas expects to close a firm order for 40 aircraft by the end of 2022. There will be 20 A321XLR, the longest-range variant, and 20 A220-300, the most popular in the series.
Another 94 aircraft will be part of a purchase right option that will be used to replace the 737-800 and 717 currently in operation.
The order is in addition to an existing agreement from its subsidiary JetStar, which includes more than 100 A320neo. The combination of the two orders should bring deliveries to 299 Airbus aircraft.
The Australian carrier did not name other versions of the A320neo, but is considering including the A220-100 in its future orders. The lower-capacity version has not had a good market acceptance, unlike the A220-300.
“The Airbus deal had the added advantage of providing ongoing flexibility within the order, meaning we can continue to choose between the entire A320neo and A220 families depending on our changing needs in the years ahead. The ability to combine the Jetstar and Qantas order for the A320 type was also a factor,” explained Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO.