Qantas has announced plans to acquire up to 110 Airbus A320 aircraft, with purchase rights and options for a further 194. The move will support its new Jetstar Japan unit and overall fleet renewal and growth strategy for the next 10-15 years. In one of a series of announcements made today, Qantas said that the new aircraft will facilitate capacity growth across Jetstar’s domestic and international operations. As part of the order, Qantas will become a major customer for the new A320neo, with 78 out of the initial 110-aircraft order being for the new fuel-efficient model.
In addition the Australian airline announced that its will defer the delivery of its final six Airbus A380s by up to six years, in an effort to reduce costs. Qantas’ A380 fleet will reach 12 aircraft by the end of 2011 and 14 by mid-2013. The remaining six double-decker jets will be delivered to coincide with the retirement of Qantas’ last six Boeing 747s.
Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce commented; “This is an investment that will position the Qantas Group very strongly in the competitive Asia Pacific aviation market, while containing costs. The first of the A320s will be allocated to the new Jetstar Japan venture between the Qantas Group, Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi. We are using the Qantas Group’s scale in the aircraft purchasing market to establish this exciting new airline. Financial management of the fleet will rest with Jetstar Japan and will be funded independently of the Group’s balance sheet.
“The remainder of the A320 order will go to other new ventures, including Qantas’ premium airline serving the Australia-Asia market, and to renewing Jetstar’s global fleet – giving us the flexibility to meet growth requirements where needed.”
Speaking of the A380 deferrals, Joyce said that its Boeing 747s would be reconfigured with the A380 product, seats and in-flight entertainment from later this year.
“The A380 is a fabulous aircraft and