Finance Ready for take-off? Qantas goes shopping for new planes

Ready for take-off? Qantas goes shopping for new planes

Qantas will by the end of the year choose which plane and engine makers provide its domestic fleet. Photo: Getty
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Qantas is close to choosing that plane and engine suppliers will provide its next fleet of aircraft.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce is in the US this week talking to manufacturers about the needs of the carrier for the next two decades.

Mr Joyce is meeting Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and engine makers to discuss plans for more than 100 planes to join the Qantas domestic fleet.

The airline boss said the updated planes could improve trip cost and efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by up to 15 per cent.

The planes being considered

Airbus A320neo range

Airbus claims their A320neo is ‘unbeatable on fuel efficiency’

Airbus claims its A320neo range, which updates the existing A320 product line, is “unbeatable on fuel efficiency”.

Neo stands for “new engine option”. In conjunction with a fuel-saving wing-tip design called ‘Sharklets’, it can reduce fuel use by up to 20 per cent, according to Airbus.

The aircrafts can seat up to 180 passengers and has a range large enough to fly any existing domestic Australian air route.

Boeing 737 MAX range

A stopgap error in Boeing’s 737 MAX was responsible for the deaths of over 300 people.

A design flaw in Boeing’s 737 MAX range was implicated in the tragic deaths of 346 people in 2019 after two 737 MAXs crashed soon after takeoff.

Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plunged to the earth at close to 1000km/h after a stopgap measure went horribly wrong, killing everyone onboard.

Boeing has since agreed to pay more than US$2.5 billion ($A3.4 billion) to the US government in a criminal settlement relating to the incidents.

Despite ensuring investors and passengers the problem was resolved, more than 100 737 MAX aircraft were grounded earlier this year after reports of an electric fault.

The aircrafts can carry up to 230 people and has a range large enough to travel between Australia’s east coast cities.

Airbus A220 range

Seating up to 150 passengers, the A220 is smaller than it’s Airbus cousins.

Airbus claims the A220 family – which has a 25 per cent lower fuel burn per seat –  is the “most efficient aircraft in the skies in their class”.

Seating up to 150 people, the A220 ranges are smaller than the Airbus A320neo range. However, they have a similar range, making the planes capable of flying between any Australian airports.

They’re also significantly quieter, according to Airbus, making them ideal for urban routes and noise-sensitive airports.

Embraer E-Jet E2 range

If you’ve never heard of Embraer, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Embraer is a Brazilian commercial aerospace manufacturer with a relatively small market share.

The E-Jet E2 range, dubbed by Embraer as the “profit hunter range”, can seat up to 146 people for a single-class airline, like Qantas’ budget airline Jetstar, and can fly between any Australian airports.

Embraer claims the E2 range set “a new benchmark in fuel efficiency”, with reductions in fuel consumption of close to 20 per cent.

A decision on suppliers is expected by the end of the year.

All planes part of the deal would be flying by 2034.

Qantas shares on the ASX were down 1.55 per cent to $5.72 at 1144 AEDT amid a wider market downturn.

-with AAP