Qantas A350-1000s Delayed To 2026

Qantas' upcoming Airbus A350-1000s for Project Sunrise flights have delayed their deliveries by 6 months to early 2026.

Qantas has delayed its Project Sunrise launch by six months with a pushback towards the middle of 2026.

A decision to push back the launch comes following a previously expected late-2025 entry into service. However, ongoing manufacturing delays are cited as a critical reason why the airline has to push back what is described as the final frontier of travel.

Unfortunately, however, the likelihood that this slips further beyond mid-2026 is present for Qantas, given the significant uncertainty around manufacturers’ supply chains.

Additionally, even if Qantas does take delivery of the aircraft in mid-2026, this doesn’t mean Project Sunrise will launch then.

As with most new aircraft, the expectation is they’ll first be involved in crew training flights across domestic services. Once the crew familiarization period is successful, the initial aircraft will be ready for deployment on Project Sunrise flights.

This training period means the likelihood that the A350-1000 wouldn’t begin Project Sunrise flights until late 2026 is high based on the current timeline.

A Solid Order For A350

Qantas has selected, in total, 24 Airbus A350-1000s. This commitment to the series was increased at the mid-way point of 2023 when the airline ordered 12 more of the type.

An initial order for 12 A350-1000s came in 2022 after much deliberation from the airline. Additionally, the flag carrier noted that it delayed the order announcement due to the global pandemic.

Additionally, the airline had been studying the possibility of using the 777X over the A350. These were generally the two aircraft pitted against each other for the contract. However, due to delays with the 777X alongside other fleet plans leaning towards Airbus, Qantas believed the A350 to be the ideal option.

These A350s, once delivered, will allow the airline to fly a much longer range than the typical A350 with 20+ hour flights possible. These aircraft will feature an additional fuel tank to help aid the ranges capabilities.

While the A350s are set to feature Economy Class, the cabins will primarily rely more on a premium configuration, allowing the airline to keep the overall weight down and enhance the type’s capabilities.

Inside The Cabin

Qantas says that as Project Sunrise represents a new dawn of travel, they’ll carry just 238 passengers on the aircraft, with six in first class, 52 in business and 40 in premium, emphasising the high-density premium setting. Lastly, there’ll be 140 economy-class seats.

The A350s will have complimentary High-speed WiFi alongside Bluetooth connectivity across every seat. These features can only be described as essential for such long flights.

Meanwhile, with passenger comfort put first, Qantas is introducing a well-being zone aboard the aircraft, a dedicated space for movement, such as stretching and consuming onboard refreshments away from the seat.

Daniel Fowkes
23 Feb 2024
· Uncategorized 

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