Qantas and subsidiary Jetstar Airways have announced plans to increase their fleets with Airbus A320 aircraft. As part of a new business strategy, both carriers plan to utilize the A320s on their Australian and Asian routes.
Qantas’ has agreed to purchase a minimum of 106 A320s from Airbus, including 78 A320neo jets, an order valued at nearly $9.5 billion. Citing the A320 aircraft’s fuel-efficiency, the Australian carrier will operate the planes on short-to medium-haul flights.
To Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, the benefits of this acquisition are multiple. “We are delighted to be investing in Airbus’ fuel-efficient A320 Family, including the new A320neo as part of Qantas’ international transformation plan and Jetstar’s pan-Asian expansion,” Joyce said in a statement. “The A320 Family’s outstanding operational efficiency and comfort, paired with its environmental credentials, make it the right choice for Qantas.”
John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers, also points to the implications of this procurement. “…We are delighted to play such a significant role in [Quantas’] future strategy,” he stated. “In a fiercely competitive market, this is a great endorsement for our eco-efficient A320neo and A320 aircraft with their unique passenger appeal, thanks to their wider cabin.”
In related news, Qantas has announced that it will postpone delivery of the last six of the 20 A380s it ordered from Airbus. The deferment, which will affect deliveries after 2013, comes on the heels of Airbus’ announcement of the new business strategy.
The carrier currently operates 10 of these aircraft, with two more scheduled for delivery this year and an additional two slated for distribution in 2013.