Qantas weighs up the A350 and the 777X for its long-term fleet replacement program

Qantas is studying the A350-900(ULR) alongside the B777-8 for its long-term ultra-long haul needs, the Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

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Speaking to the Australian Business Traveller at the recent IATA AGM in Dublin, Joyce said the Australian carrier was in talks with both Airbus and Boeing on post-2020 fleet plans.

Both the A350-900(ULR) and the 777-8 are expected to operates over ranges of up to 16,000km. However, the 777-8 will be able to seat 350-375 passengers, while the A350-900(ULR) will be able to seat only 300 or so. The A350-900(ULR), though, will make its commercial debut in 2018 with Singapore Airlines, 4/5 years earlier than the American counterpart.

Right now Qantas is expecting the first of eight 787-9s from Boeing later this year, which will be used to gradually replace its aging fleet of eleven B747-400s.


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