Airbus wins order to renew Qantas fleet -sources

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An announcement of the deal, which was first reported by Bloomberg News, is due early on Thursday in Sydney, they said, asking not to be identified on confidential negotiations.

Airbus has been competing mainly with Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co for one of the industry’s most keenly awaited deals – described recently by the airline’s boss as a “once-in-a-generation” fleet renewal.

Airbus and Boeing declined comment.

A Qantas spokesperson said there would be an announcement shortly, but declined to provide details.

The apparent loss of the contract is a blow to Boeing’s 737 MAX, interrupting a strong run of sales since the jet was cleared for flight late last year following a safety ban.

Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in October the carrier expected to order more than 100 narrowbody and regional planes, with a preferred supplier to be chosen in December.

It is separately looking at widebodies capable of the world’s longest commercial flights from Sydney to London.

Qantas plans to replace an ageing fleet of 75 Boeing 737-800s and 20 regional Boeing 717s.

It has said it will place a firm order for the planes by mid-2022, with deliveries expected from late 2023 to 2034.

Options under consideration were the Boeing 737 MAX, Airbus A320neo family, and for regional routes, the Airbus A220 and Embraer’s E-Jet E2 family.