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Qantas reportedly plans to order more new Dreamliners

written by Jake Nelson | August 23, 2023

Victor Pody shot this Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner, VH-ZNL, arriving in Melbourne.

Qantas is planning to place a new order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners, according to reports from Reuters.

The international news agency cited unnamed industry sources claiming that the Flying Kangaroo will purchase an as-yet-unspecified number of 787-10s, which would complement its existing fleet of 14 787-9s, and that the order could be announced as early as this month.

“The sources cautioned that such negotiations typically go down to the wire and no decision is final until it has won airline board approval,” Reuters wrote.

Qantas declined to comment for this story.

The Flying Kangaroo is looking to replace its 24 ageing A330s – which average around 17 years old – with incoming CEO Vanessa Hudson saying at June’s 2023 International Air Transport Association AGM in Istanbul that the airline will put out the call in the latter half of this year.


“The one thing that we are hearing from speaking to the manufacturers and other airlines is that there is a significant demand for wide-body aircraft and many campaigns coming into the market over the next six months,” she said.

“It’s very important that we make sure that we are able to negotiate the best outcome for Qantas, and also reserve the slots which are filling up really quickly.”

The 787-10, a stretched variant that Boeing says is more economical than Airbus’s A350 on shorter routes, can carry around 20 more passengers than Qantas’ existing 787-9s, the last of which, VH-ZNN, nicknamed ‘Snowy River’, arrived in Australia in July.

VH-ZNN was the final aircraft in a batch of three, the others being VH-ZNM, named ‘Mateship’ and VH-ZNL, ‘Billabong’. Like previous Qantas 787-9s, the final three aircraft feature 42 business class lie-flat bed seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 166 economy seats.

The planes are necessary for Qantas to increase capacity and launch new routes. In particular, the airline is currently in talks with Air France to develop a direct route from Perth to France, as well as several other additional European locations.

“We want to do Paris, and we’re talking to Air France and other European airlines about how we could do that,” said CEO Alan Joyce earlier this year.

Qantas is currently undergoing a major fleet renewal program, dubbed Project Winton, which means it will either buy or have purchase rights to up to 299 narrow-body and 12 wide-body aircraft for delivery over the next decade.

Project Winton is an Airbus-heavy plan, which includes nine more A321s that Qantas will then convert into freighters; 12 Airbus A350-1000 jets to launch Project Sunrise; and 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 29 A220-300s to fly its domestic routes. There is also an option to purchase up to 85 additional Airbuses through to 2034.

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