Qantas plans to issue a Request for Proposal to aircraft manufacturers for the future provision of new wide-body aircraft. The aircraft will replace the Qantas Group’s fleet of medium wide-body Boeing 767-300 aircraft and also cater for international capacity growth and new route opportunities in coming years.
The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said the RFP represented the first stage in what would be the group’s largest fleet renewal program since 2000.
“Qantas is looking at options for the next generation wide-body aircraft to strengthen its competitive position and provide for future growth opportunities including medium-haul routes in Asia as well as services into the United States and Europe bypassing traditional hubs.
“To do this, we are formally seeking detailed pricing and performance information from Airbus and Boeing on aircraft types currently in production as well as new types and variants under development.”
The RFP will cover a mix of firm orders and options for:
- Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 aircraft for use on medium-haul international, trans-Tasman and Australian domestic routes; and
- ultra-long range variants of the Boeing 777 and Airbus A340 to operate on ‘hub-busting’ routes.
Mr Dixon said Qantas wanted a modern fleet that provided maximum flexibility, lower seat mile costs, greater fuel efficiency and the opportunity to introduce the next generation of inflight services.
Qantas holds options on the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737-800, which will cover narrow-body growth and the possible need to replace the Boeing 737-400 fleet in the future.
Qantas’ last major fleet commitment was announced in November 2000. It included the purchase of 12 Airbus A380, six Boeing 747-400ER and 13 A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft.
Since then, the Group has also purchased additional Boeing 737-800 and A330-300 aircraft as well as 23 Airbus A320-200s for operation by Jetstar.