Qantas rejects proposals from Airbus and Boeing for ultra long-haul aircraft
Published on Thursday, November 21, 2019
Qantas is playing hardball with plane makers Airbus and Boeing over their proposals for ultra-long haul ‘Project Sunrise’ planes.
The two manufacturers have earmarked the Boeing 777-8X and Airbus A350-100ULR as suitable aircraft to fly from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London but Qantas wants to see more affordable prices.
The current proposals don’t make it financially feasible, Qantas says, despite both submitting their ‘best and final offers’.
“We’ve asked them to go back and re-look at that, to sharpen their pencils, because there still was a gap there,” Qantas International chief executive Tino La Spina said at an investor presentation.
“We’re eagerly awaiting to see what we get back from that.”
Qantas boss Alan Joyce has said on several occasions that the project will be ditched if the business case doesn’t stack up.
That involves not only the cost of new aircraft but also agreeing a new pay deal and ‘productivity improvements’ with long haul pilots.
Joyce said there is ‘huge demand’ for the nonstop routes and the airline believes it can charge a premium of about 30% for the convenience of a nonstop flight.