Qantas has firmed options on six additional Boeing 787-9s and announced that it will retire its 747 fleet by 2020.
Once delivered, the new jets will take its 787 fleet to 14 units, which will feature a common 236 seat configuration and will be powered by General Electric GEnx engines.
Qantas has four 787s in service, with four more due for delivery by the end of the year. The new batch will then be delivered from late 2019 to mid-to-late 2020.
The arrival of those jets will facilitate the retirement of its remaining 747-400s, the youngest of which will be 17 years old by 2020.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the carrier has four 747-400s and six -400ERs in service, the oldest of which is 25 years old.
“Over the years, each new version of the 747 allowed Qantas to fly further and improve what we offered passengers. The Dreamliners are now doing the same thing,” says chief executive Alan Joyce.
“The 787 has better economics and a longer range, and it’s already opened up new routes like Perth to London. With a larger fleet of Dreamliners, we’ll be looking at destinations in the Americas, Asia, South Africa and Europe.”
Qantas is also advancing with its ‘Project Sunrise’ project, which is expected to see it place an order for Airbus A350-900ULRs or Boeing 777-8s to allow it to operate nonstop flights from Australia’s east coast to Europe and the US west coast.
The airline has previously said that it plans to place an order in 2019, allowing for delivery of the aircraft around 2023.