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Qantas will place the largest order in its 102-year history, aiming for 150 Airbus planes worth $34 billion.

Qantas apologizes to travelers for operational challenges
  • Qantas Project Sunrise has been approved, with an order for 12 x Airbus A350s capable of flying direct from Australia to any other city, including New York and London, beginning in late 2025 from Sydney.
  • Domestic fleet renewal will begin in late 2023, with an order for 40 x A321XLRs and A220 aircraft; 94 purchase order rights will be spread out over at least a decade.
  • Significant reductions in emissions, operating costs, and passenger comfort when compared to retiring aircraft.
  • There will be no change to the capital guidance for FY23; order structure will be consistent with the Group Financial Framework.

The Qantas Group announced today a number of significant fleet decisions that will reshape its international and domestic networks over the next decade and beyond.

Qantas will place the largest order in its 102-year history, aiming for 150 Airbus planes worth $34 million.

First Class cabin

These decisions will also improve journeys for millions of people each year, as well as create over 1,000 jobs and numerous career advancement opportunities at the national carrier.

Domestically, as part of ‘Project Winton,’ Qantas will begin the renewal of its narrow body jets with firm orders for 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 20 A220-300s as its Boeing 737s and 717s are gradually retired. The first of these aircraft will begin to arrive in late calendar 2023, with the order including purchase right options for an additional 94 aircraft to be delivered until at least 2034.

Qantas will place the largest order in its 102-year history, aiming for 150 Airbus planes worth $34 million.

First class cabin

On a global scale, 12 Airbus A350-1000s will be ordered to operate nonstop ‘Project Sunrise’ flights from Australia to cities such as New York and London. These aircraft will provide market-leading passenger comfort in each travel class, with services set to begin from Sydney by the end of calendar 2025.

Qantas will place the largest order in its 102-year history, aiming for 150 Airbus planes worth $34 million.

Wellbeing area

All of these next-generation aircraft, with lower emissions, longer range, less noise, and better economics, will improve people’s travel around Australia and around the world.

Qantas will place the largest order in its 102-year history, aiming for 150 Airbus planes worth $34 million.

WellBeing area

Customers can anticipate more direct routes and, as a result, less total travel time. They can anticipate increased cabin comfort. Furthermore, due to different aircraft sizes for peak and off-peak times, they can expect more flight options at different times of day, particularly on domestic and regional routes.

 

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IN REGARD TO THE ORDER

  • Orders have been placed for 12 Airbus A350-1000s for Project Sunrise. Deliveries will begin in 2025 and will be completed by 2028.
  • Firm orders have been placed for 20 A321XLR and 20 A220-300 aircraft for Project Winton, which will begin the renewal of Qantas’ narrow body fleet as its 95 Boeing 737 and Boeing 717 aircraft retire. A220 deliveries will begin in late calendar 2023, with A321XLR deliveries beginning a year later in late calendar 2024.
  • A further 94 purchase right options are available across the A320 and A220 families, with significant flexibility in delivery timing (over a 10-year period) and aircraft type.
  • Combines with Jetstar’s existing order of 109 A320s (plus purchase rights) to form a single Qantas Group narrow body order for 299 aircraft (half of which are firm orders).
  • Combines with Jetstar’s existing order of 109 A320s (plus purchase rights) to form a single Qantas Group narrow body order of 299 aircraft (half of which are firm orders and half are purchase right options), with the option to reduce that order by selecting any variant from the A320 and A220 families.
  • Jetstar confirmed today that it will convert 20 of its existing A320 family orders to A321XLRs, which have the potential to fly short-haul international routes, with deliveries beginning in the second half of calendar 2024. (The first tranche of this existing order – 18 A321LRs – is scheduled to arrive in July 2022.)

He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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Aerospace

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber
Image:USAF

The United States Air Force (USAF) has unveiled the first photographs of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber in flight.

These images were captured during test flights conducted by the B-21 Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, marking a significant milestone in the development of this sixth-generation aircraft.

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Currently undergoing flight tests in California, the B-21 Raider represents the next generation of stealth bombers. With an estimated cost of around $700 million per aircraft, the B-21 Raider is poised to become a crucial component of the USAF’s arsenal for conventional Long Range Strike missions.

According to Air Force briefings, the B-21 Raider will form part of a comprehensive family of systems, encompassing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capabilities, electronic warfare, communication systems, and more. Notably, the bomber will be nuclear-capable and adaptable for both manned and unmanned operations.

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It boasts the flexibility to deploy a wide array of stand-off and direct-attack munitions, ensuring versatility in various combat scenarios. One of the B-21’s distinguishing features is its extensive integration of digital technology, as highlighted in discussions held during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Designed with an open systems architecture, the B-21 Raider is built to swiftly incorporate emerging technologies, ensuring its effectiveness against evolving threats over time. The B-21 Raider is slated to replace the aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers, bolstering US national security objectives and providing reassurance to allies and partners worldwide.

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Aerospace

Aurora Flight Sciences Unveils Innovative X-Plane Design

Aurora Flight Sciences Unveils Innovative X-Plane Design

Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing company, has recently completed the conceptual design review for a groundbreaking high-speed, vertical lift X-plane.

This aircraft, part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT), aims to demonstrate key technologies and integrated concepts that combine high speed with runway independence.

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Aurora’s design features a low-drag, fan-in-wing demonstrator integrated into a blended wing body platform. This innovative approach merges the agility of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) with exceptional speed capabilities.

The team is focused on ensuring the program’s success by setting the stage for successful flight demonstrations, showcasing a transformative capability for air mobility and Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions.

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New renderings of the fan-in-wing (FIW) demonstrator show three lift fans, a more refined composite exterior, and an uncrewed cockpit. The decision to use three lift fans simplifies the demonstrator, streamlining its path to flight testing. This FIW technology can be scaled to incorporate four or more lift fans to meet future aircraft requirements, potentially leading to a new family of systems.

Additionally, while the current demonstrator is uncrewed to facilitate testing and reduce risk, the FIW technology is fully adaptable to crewed aircraft. Aurora’s concept is designed to meet or exceed DARPA’s challenging program objectives. The blended wing body platform is capable of a 450-knot cruise speed, and the embedded lift fans with integrated covers enable a smooth transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

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The design also utilizes existing engine solutions, reducing development risks and timelines. Besides VTOL, the aircraft can perform short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL), super short take-off and landing (SSTOL), and conventional take-off and landing.

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Aerospace

China Developing Comac C939 Wide Body Aircraft to Compete with A350 and B777

Comac Eyes Saudi Arabian Market to Challenge Western Aircraft Giants


China’s Comac aircraft company is currently underway with the development of its own wide-body aircraft, the C939, positioned to compete with industry stalwarts like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 in the future. This strategic move by Comac involves crafting the next iteration with enhanced capacity and extended range capabilities, marking a significant leap forward in technological advancement compared to the current C919 aircraft.

Air China has inked a substantial deal worth a staggering $10.8 billion, based on list prices, to acquire 100 Comac C919 jets, signaling a strong vote of confidence in the domestic challenger to aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing.

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China Comac C919 Total Order

With both China Southern and Air China combining orders for nearly 200 aircraft, the prospects for the new C919 aircraft appear increasingly promising for future fleet growth. To date, Comac has garnered orders for nearly 1,100 aircraft.

China is contemplating the development of another wide-body aircraft, the C939, poised to significantly bolster the aerospace industry in China.

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COMAC has initiated work on the C939, a new wide-body airliner. While design concepts have been formulated, it will still take several years before a prototype materializes, according to reports from the South China Morning Post, citing anonymous sources.

Initially intended to be a joint venture with Russia, plans were halted due to Russia’s decision to safeguard its copyrights and technological advancements within its borders. Consequently, collaboration between China and Russia on aircraft development was discontinued. Sources suggest that China is vigorously pursuing new avenues for the independent development of its own wide-body aircraft, crucial for accommodating larger passenger capacities and extended flight ranges.

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Comac C939 competes with Boeing 777 and A350

Information regarding the program remains limited. COMAC has refrained from commenting on the development of the new aircraft type, stating that official announcements will be made in due course. Nevertheless, the C939 could potentially accommodate up to 390 passengers, positioning it to compete with the largest Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft.

In addition to the prospective C939, COMAC is already advancing with the development of another widebody aircraft, known as the C929. This aircraft is poised to rival the Boeing 787 and Airbus A330, boasting 280 seats and a range approaching 6,500 nautical miles.

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Since obtaining certification in late 2022, the COMAC C919 has been operational, accumulating nearly 1,000 firm orders, predominantly from Chinese-owned airlines and leasing companies.

With multiple widebody aircraft in the pipeline, COMAC stands to achieve parity with the two leading international aircraft manufacturers. Boeing, with its 777 and 787 models, and Airbus, with the A330neo and A350, both have a comparable range of offerings. However, Boeing’s aircraft are encountering delays and production challenges despite substantial orders, while the A350 is performing commendably, though the A330neo’s order intake has not met initial projections.

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How much does C919 cost?

China is under pressure to fulfill the current orders for the C919 aircraft, prompting plans to expand production facilities across various regions within the country. The aim is to ramp up production capacity for C919 planes to 150 aircraft annually over the next five years. The latest reports indicate that the C919 is priced around $99 million, comparable to the price of Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320 aircraft, with expectations for further price reductions in the future.

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While the C919 has yet to be certified in major aviation markets outside of China, only four have been delivered thus far. In the long term, COMAC’s widebody aircraft will vie for global competitiveness. One potential benefit of COMAC aircraft could be in reducing China’s reliance on Western aircraft manufacturers. However, this shift won’t happen immediately; the current delivery rate of four aircraft in nearly 18 months is not sustainable, and both Airbus and Boeing have established manufacturing facilities in China to cater to its sizable market.

Nevertheless, assuming COMAC addresses the issues impeding deliveries, there’s a plausible scenario where the manufacturer assumes a significant role, particularly as China’s aviation market continues to expand.

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As the C939 progresses through its development stages, more details are expected to emerge. Comparisons between official specifications of the C929 and C939 will be noteworthy, as will the initial orders for each aircraft type. However, it’s anticipated that neither will undergo test flights or enter into service for several years.

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