Qantas and Airbus have finalised a contract for 110 A320 Family aircraft, to help with the airline’s fleet renewal and expansion plans in the coming years. The firm order for 78 A320neo and 32 A320s is the largest single order in Australian aviation history by aircraft units and follows a commitment signed in August.
The new aircraft will be deployed across the Qantas Group on short to medium haul domestic and international operations and underpin the airline’s commitment to build a fleet with the most fuel efficient and reliable aircraft in the market.
“The Airbus A320 will be the launch aircraft for Qantas’ new, premium airline based in Asia and will support Jetstar’s expansion plans – including the establishment of Jetstar Japan,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO. “The A320 Family’s outstanding operational efficiency and comfort, plus its environmental credentials, make it the right choice for the Qantas Group.”
“We are delighted that our A320neo and A320s are playing a vital role in Qantas’ future strategy,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “Coming from one of the world’s great aviation pioneering companies, this order is a great endorsement of Airbus and of our eco-efficient aircraft products.”
The A320neo is a new engine option for the A320 Family to enter service in 2015. It incorporates latest generation engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver 15 percent in fuel and CO2 emission savings.
A320 Family orders to date already exceed 7,900, reaffirming its position as the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. To date over 4,790 have been delivered to over 330 customers and operators worldwide. The A320neo has over 95 percent airframe commonality with the existing A320 models while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload. It is offered with engines from CFM International’s LEAP-X or Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G.
Qantas will make its engine decision at a later date.
Airbus has received 1,245 A320neo orders and commitments since its launch just ten months ago, in December 2010.