Qantas and Airbus have converted a tentative commitment signed in August to firm orders for 78 A320neos and 32 standard A320s, the European manufacturer announced today. The deal for 110 A320-family aircraft ranks as the largest single order in Australian aviation history in terms of units, said Airbus. The airline said the airplanes will support fleet renewal and growth for the next 10 to 15 years, serving routes across the Qantas Group network on short- and medium-haul domestic and international operations.
“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.”
As outlined along with the tentative commitment announced in August, Qantas plans to defer the delivery of its final six Airbus A380s by up to six years, driving what it called substantial capital cost savings. The new fleet strategy will see Qantas’s complement of Airbus A380s reach 12 aircraft by the end of this year and 14 airplanes by mid-2013. Plans now call for Aibus to deliver the remaining six A380s to coincide with the retirement of Qantas’s last six Boeing 747ERs.