Qantas fleet renewal continues 2023

Qantas will retire the first Boeing 717 plane registered and operated in Australia.

The departing 717 (VH-NXI) flew Jetstar’s first trip between Melbourne and Launceston in May 2004.

QantasLink has operated the aircraft on regional and domestic routes for 15 years.

Over two decades, it has securely transported more than 1.6 million Qantas and Jetstar customers on 29,000 flights.

The Blue Mountains, named after New South Wales’ world-heritage national park, will leave Australia in mid-June before being sold to another big airline. Its range constraints need eight fuel stops, including Cebu, Sapporo, and Anchorage, on its way to its new owner in North America.

“Project Winton” will eventually replace QantasLink’s 20 Boeing 717s with 29 fuel-efficient Airbus A220s.

The first A220 will arrive later this year and the first of 20 A321XLRs in late 2024.

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and Jetstar Airbus A321 neo long-range (LR) aircraft joined the outgoing 717 at Sydney Airport this week.

The next-generation models are part of a fleet renewal plan that will see the Qantas Group get a new aircraft every three weeks for the next five years.

Qantas and Jetstar will increase capacity, reduce emissions, and improve efficiency with the new planes.

Billabong, Qantas’ latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner, began international flights this month, with two more due in three weeks.

These extra planes resumed Sydney-San Francisco operations and will help start the Sydney-New York-Auckland link next month. Qantas will have 14 787-9s.

Jetstar received its seventh Airbus A321 neo LR aircraft last month, which are 50% quieter and 20% more fuel-efficient than their predecessors. Domestic and Bali-Australia flights are offered. The airline will receive 11 A321neo LRs by 2024.

The Qantas Group has restored to about 100% of pre-COVID domestic flying levels and aims to restore 100% of international flying by March 2024 with new arrivals and standby aircraft returning to service.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said, “Qantas is in the early stages of the biggest fleet renewal program in its history, with up to 299 narrowbody aircraft spread over 10-plus years and the A350s that will operate our Project Sunrise flights. Our staff and clients are excited because these new planes open up new places and opportunities.

“We’ve received four new aircraft this year and expect eight more by year’s end.

“Our new aircraft are more capable than the ones they’re replacing. They fly farther, quieter, and more efficiently, giving our passengers a terrific experience.”

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