Airbus made this announcement:
Qantas Group has confirmed that it will order 12 A350-1000s, 20 A220s and 20 A321XLRs. The news was announced at a ceremony in Sydney attended by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, Christian Scherer.
The A350-1000 was selected by Qantas following an evaluation known as Project Sunrise and will enable the carrier to operate the world’s longest commercial flights. These will include linking Sydney and Melbourne with destinations such as London and New York non-stop for the first time ever. Featuring a premium layout, the A350 fleet will also be used by Qantas on other international services. The A350-1000 is powered by the latest generation Trent XWB engines from Rolls-Royce.
In the single aisle category the A220 and A321XLR were chosen under an evaluation called Project Winton. The aircraft will be used by the Qantas Group on domestic services across the country, which can extend to over five hours. In addition, the A321XLR offers the range capability for flights from Australia to South East Asia, enabling the Qantas Group to open up new direct routes. The A220 and A321XLR fleets will both be powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.
This agreement is in addition to the existing order for 109 A320neo Family aircraft, which includes the A321XLR for the Qantas Group low cost subsidiary Jetstar.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “New types of aircraft make new things possible. That’s
what makes today’s announcement so significant for the national carrier and for a country like Australia where air travel is crucial. The A350 and Project Sunrise will make any city just one flight away from Australia. It’s the last frontier and the final fix for the tyranny of distance.”
“The A320s and A220s will become the backbone of our domestic fleet for the next 20 years, helping to keep this country moving. Their range and economics will make new direct routes possible. “The Board’s decision to green light what is the largest aircraft order in Australian aviation is a clear vote of confidence in the future of Qantas.”
The A220, A321XLR and A350 are the market leaders in their respective size categories. In addition to offering the highest levels of passenger comfort, the aircraft bring a step change in efficiency, using up to 25% less fuel, a similar reduction in carbon emissions and a noise footprint 50% lower than previous generation aircraft.
All in-production Airbus aircraft are certified to fly with a 50% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blend, with a target to increase this to 100% by 2030.
QANTAS issued this statement:
Australia’s national carrier has today confirmed an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s to conquer the final frontier of long-haul travel and enable non-stop flights to Australia from any other city including New York and London from late 2025.
Codenamed Project Sunrise for the airline’s long history of endurance flying, Qantas has also shared preliminary concepts for its A350 cabin of the future that will offer a new level of comfort for all passengers on these direct flights that will cut up to four hours off total travel time compared with one-stop options today.
Customers onboard Qantas’ new fleet of A350 aircraft will be treated to luxurious First Class suites with a separate bed, recliner lounge chair and personal wardrobe; a next-generation Business suite; a new Premium Economy seat pitched at 40 inches, a new Economy seat pitched at 33 inches; and a dedicated Wellbeing Zone designed for movement, stretching and hydration. It has a total seat count of 238, the lowest compared with any other A350-1000 currently in service.
Global travelers can expect more direct routes to Australia, significantly reduced point-to-point travel time and a flying experience second to none – with a cabin interior and service design influenced by medical and scientific research carried out on three Project Sunrise research flights from New York and London to Sydney in 2019.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “For more than 100 years, Qantas has been at the forefront of transforming the way the world travels, particularly through direct flights. Now, the A350 and Project Sunrise will make almost any city in the world just one flight away from Australia. It’s the last frontier and the final fix for the tyranny of distance that has traditionally challenged travel to Australia.
“Our direct Perth-London flights started in 2017 and showed strong demand for the convenience and time savings from this kind of travel if the product and service is right. Pre-COVID it was the longest route on our network and had the highest customer satisfaction on our network. All signs point to that demand increasing post-COVID.
“The Qantas A350 travel experience will be truly exceptional, particularly across the premium cabins. Our First and Business Class Seats will set a new benchmark for premium long-haul travel.
“The first Project Sunrise flights will be from New York and London, but the aircraft will also be able to operate non-stop flights to Australia from destinations such as Paris and Frankfurt.
“The Australian national carrier also announced the renewal of its narrow body jets as part of Project Winton with firm orders for 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 20 A220-300s as its Boeing 737s and 717s are gradually retired.
“All of these next generation aircraft – through their lower emissions, longer range, less noise and better economics – will improve how people travel around Australia and overseas.”
- Will carry 238 passengers across four classes (First, Business, Premium Economy, Economy), with more than 40 per cent of the cabin dedicated to premium seating.
- The cabin is specially configured for improved comfort on long flights and includes a Wellbeing Zone in the centre and more spacious seating in Premium Economy and Economy cabins.
- Will be carbon neutral, with all emissions offset.