Airbus has confirmed that it can offer ultra-long-range versions of both A350 variants to Qantas to meet its "Project Sunrise" requirement for an aircraft able to operate nonstop flights between Sydney and London.
Speaking at the IATA AGM in Seoul, Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer said he was "very, very excited" about Airbus's ability to respond Qantas's requirement for "ultra-long-range flying and high-capacity flying, with the A350".
"Airbus is in a privileged position by having the only new contemporaneous technology aircraft out there," he says.
Scherer adds that Airbus can offer "both [variants]" for the Sunrise requirement, "and in particular [the -1000]. We will fight for it [the order]."
Qantas is evaluating the A350 along with the Boeing 777-8 to meet its requirement. Chief executive Alan Joyce says he has met with both manufacturers at the AGM in Seoul this week and is now issuing a call for the best and final offers. Results are expected in August, detailing acquisition costs, performance guarantees and maintenance costs.