Australia’s Qantas Group has today announced what it calls “the final piece of its jet fleet renewal programme” with a firm order for 24 aircraft to progressively replace its existing Airbus A330 fleet.

The order is split between 12 Airbus A350s and 12 Boeing 787s arriving from FY27 into the next decade.

The oneworld carrier says it has also negotiated additional purchase right options, split evenly between both manufacturers, to give flexibility for future growth and ultimately replace its 10 A380s with A350s from around FY32 onwards.

Qantas’ A330 aircraft mostly operate on international flights to Asia and the United States as well as some domestic flights. The longer range delivered by the 787 and A350 aircraft on order means they will be able to operate all the routes on the airline’s current international network, as well as open up new ones.

Qantas has named its international fleet renewal ‘Project Fysh’ in honour of Sir Hudson Fysh who co-founded the airline and was managing director when it commenced international flying in 1935.

“This is another multi-billion dollar investment in the national carrier and it’s great news for our customers and our people.

“It’s in addition to the 149 firm aircraft we still have on order to continue renewing the domestic fleet for Qantas and Jetstar, and for the non-stop Project Sunrise flights to London and New York.

“Both the 787 and A350, and the GE and Rolls Royce engines fitted to them, are thoroughly proven and extremely capable.

“These are generational decisions for this company. The aircraft will arrive over a decade or more and they’ll be part of the fleet for 20 years. They’ll unlock new routes and better travel experiences for customers, and new jobs and promotions for our people,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

With these new orders, Qantas will get four additional 787-9s, for a total of 18 787-9s in the fleet. On top of that, the carrier will get eight larger 787-10s, with deliveries starting in FY27.

Moreover, Qantas will now get a total of 24 A350-1000s from Airbus – 12 from a previously confirmed ‘Project Sunrise’ order, plus another 12 announced today for later A380 replacement.

Much sooner, at the end of this year, Qantas Group will receive the first two QantasLink A220 aircraft; subsequent deliveries are expected to be delayed by up to four months as a result of supply chain disruption, the airline said.