Sunday 3 September 2023

Qantas to replace A330s with Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s

It's a shame this hasn't happened now, as my wife and I are flying on a Qantas A330-200 this coming Tuesday to Singapore.

It’s out with the old and in with the new, or at least the newer, as Qantas moves to replace its workhorse Airbus A330s with a fresh tranche of two dozen Airbus A350's and Boeing 787 orders from 2027-2028.

Yes, you read that right: there won’t be a straight 1:1 swap where the 28 A330s make way for 28 of another single type of jet. Instead, Qantas will share post-A330 duties between 12 Airbus A350-1000s and 12 Boeing 787s.


Those A350s will be separate to their Project Sunrise siblings, although Executive Traveller understands they will be fitted with the same seats as the Sunrise jets, including private business class suites, but without first class or the Project Sunrise Wellbeing Zone.

Meanwhile, the Boeing 787 order will be split between four Boeing 787-9s, of which Qantas already has 14 in its hangars, and eight of the ‘stretched’ 787-10 version, which can carry more passengers but over a slightly reduced range.

Qantas Chief Financial Officer and incoming CEO Vanessa Hudson tells Executive Traveller the twin-aisle upgrade program “will start with replacing the (first) A330 in 2027” on a Boeing 787.

First to the knackery will be the oldest A330s, while younger jets scheduled to leave the fleet towards the end of the replacement program will “undergo a cabin refurbishment” beginning in 2025-2026, including new economy seats and a refresh and modernisation of the interiors, although the same original-gen business class seats will remain in place.

Hudson says Qantas also holds additional purchase rights and options with both Airbus and Boeing “to give flexibility for future growth.”


Domestic Dreamliners

Like the Airbus A330s, the 787s and potentially A350s will feature on key domestic routes such as Sydney-Perth and Melbourne-Perth as well as short- to medium-range routes to New Zealand and Asia, while also being able to tackle longer treks to North America as well as direct European destinations from Perth.

Hudson said the flexibility of these jets fitted into what Qantas calls its ‘right aircraft, right route’ approach, which will also leverage the vastly extended range of the forthcoming Airbus A220 and A321XLR jets over the Boeing 717s and 737s they replace.

Story source from here

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