Qantas has entered the final stages of a formal tender process with aircraft and engine manufacturers for the long-term renewal of its domestic narrow-body fleet.
The program, which has been flagged previously, will see more than 100 new aircraft enter the national carrier’s domestic fleet by 2034, renewing the Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 717s that currently form the backbone of its domestic jet operations.
Deliveries would start from the end of 2023 but the Group would retain significant flexibility to make adjustments depending on market conditions.
The aircraft being considered are the Boeing 737 MAX family and Airbus A320neo family, as well as the smaller Embraer E-Jet E2 family and the Airbus A220.
The tender process includes detailed evaluation of the aircraft against four key criteria: safety, reliability and performance, sustainability and emissions reduction, and commercial terms.
Final decisions on preferred suppliers of aircraft and engines are expected to be made by the end of 2021 followed by firm orders by mid-2022.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who is meeting Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and engine manufacturers at the International Air Transport Association AGM in Boston this week, said determining the jets that would serve Qantas Domestic for the next two decades was a key milestone for the Group.