HONG KONG - Qantas is choosing Airbus over Boeing as a partner to fly the world's longest passenger routes. It's yet another blow to the embattled American aircraft maker, which continues to weather fallout from the 737 Max crisis, reports Michelle Toh for CNN. Continue reading original article
The Intelligent Aerospace take:
December 13, 2019- Quantas' "Project Sunrise" aims to fly roughly 19 hours non-stop from Sydney and Brisbane to London and New York. Both Boeing and Airbus pitched modified versions of their long-haul passenger jets. Noting it was a "tough choice," Quantas CEO Alan Joyce said it was "made even harder by innovation from both manufacturers to improve on what they had already spent years designing."
"After detailed evaluation of the Boeing 777X and Airbus A350, Qantas has selected the A350-1000 as the preferred aircraft if Sunrise proceeds," the carrier wrote in a press release. "This aircraft uses the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine, which has a strong reliability record after being in service with airlines for more than two years. Airbus will add an additional fuel tank and slightly increase the maximum takeoff weight to deliver the performance required for Sunrise routes. No orders have been placed but Qantas will work closely with Airbus to prepare contract terms for up to 12 aircraft ahead of a final decision by the Qantas Board. Airbus has agreed to extend the deadline to confirm delivery slots from February 2020 to March 2020. This provides additional time to negotiate an industrial agreement without impacting the planned start date of Project Sunrise flights in the first half of calendar 2023."
Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor