Qantas to pick planemaker via contest to replace ageing A330 fleet

Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) plans to run a competition between aircraft manufacturers to replace its ageing fleet of 28 Airbus SE (AIR.PA) A330 planes in the next 12 to 18 months, its chief financial officer said on Thursday.

“We will be looking at the market in the coming 12 months,” Chief Financial Officer Vanessa Hudson told reporters. “That aircraft is heading to the end of its useful life. We will run a competition as we have done for the narrowbody fleet in the coming 12 to 18 months.”

She did not say what models would be considered as a replacement, though most airlines have looked at the A330neo and A350 models from Airbus and rival Boeing Co (BA.N) 787 and any deal would be worth multiple billions of dollars based on list prices.

Qantas has three 787s already manufactured by Boeing that are in storage in the United States because of the planemaker’s delivery issues and are expected to arrive in May and June 2023, the airline’s chief executive Alan Joyce said.

The airline also in May placed an order for 12 A350s capable of the world’s longest commercial flights from Sydney to London.