VIDEO & PICTURES: Qantas talking to Airbus on A350s, more A380s

Qantas is discussing with Airbus a follow-on order for the A380 as part of its ongoing fleet renewal programme, and is also considering the A350.

Speaking at the handover ceremony of the carrier's first example of the type in Toulouse today, CEO Geoff Dixon and his designated successor Alan Joyce made clear that an order was virtually certain.

The airline still has four unexercised options and purchase rights for 12 further aircraft in addition to the 20 Rolls-Royce-powered aircraft it has ordered.

Responding to questions, Dixon said: "We have commenced discussions with Airbus about increasing our order for A380s. It will be within the confines of the overall A$35 billion [fleet renewal] programme."

He says the aircraft is "the perfect fit" for long-haul travel, stressing its improved yields, reduced emissions, lower costs, and range.

Joyce adds: "It ticks a wide range of boxes for us. We have not taken delivery of the first one and already we are thinking about further aircraft going forward."

Qantas A380

Regarding the A350, Dixon says: "Both Alan and I and CFO designate Colin Storey are having discussions with Airbus on it. We certainly have not made a decision. The earliest we could get the aircraft would be 2018, although there are discussions about 2015. We will discuss that over the next six months - but it is not a decision we have made."

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