Qantas mulls fleet replacement options

Singapore
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Qantas Airways is assessing its options for replacing its core fleet of Boeing 737s, 747s and 717s.

In a recent investor presentation in Seattle, the Oneworld carrier’s chief financial officer Gareth Evans noted that it was in an “ongoing assessment” of the options to replace the three types in the Qantas fleet.

The airline now has 60 737-800s in service and eight more on order, but it says that it is assessing the 737 Max and Airbus A320/A321neo as possible replacements over the long term.

Qantas already has orders for 78 A320neos, although those have been allocated to its budget subsidiary Jetstar and its Asian affiliates as replacements for their A320s.

For the replacement of the 15 747-400s still in its fleet, the airline is considering a mix of widebody aircraft, including the Airbus A330, A350 and A380, as well as the Boeing 787 and 777-X.

Jetstar has received the first of 14 787-8s on order, while Qantas maintains 20 options and 30 purchase rights for 787s that can be used for any variant. The carrier has previously said that it will only convert the options to orders once its struggling international division becomes profitable, which is expected in the fiscal year 2015.

In the presentation, Evans notes that the first five 787 options would be delivered from FY2017, while the purchase rights are available out to FY2025.

To replace its 14 717s operated by regional arm QantasLink, the carrier is assessing the A319neo, 737-7, Bombardier CSeries and the Embraer E-Jet family.

Qantas adds that it is also in the process of cutting down the number of types it operates. By FY2016, it plans to have retired its fleet of Boeing 767-300ERs and 737-400s. That will take the carrier from nine to seven types, including the A320s and 787s operated by Jetstar.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Qantas has an operational fleet of 132 aircraft.