London, UK - Chief executive Alan Joyce said that Boeing has offered Qantas a stopgap deal in a bid to convince the Australian airline operator to choose the 777X for upcoming direct flights from the eastern part of Australia to New York and London.
Alan Joyce revealed this information during an interview in London on Nov. 13, but rejected to detail what the offer involves.
While the 777-8X is likely to be delayed, Boeing has put a compelling proposition on the table. Part of the Boeing proposal is an alternative that gives us a transition to the later delivery of the 777,
Selling widebody jets to the tirlines that are aiming to operate flights lasting 14 hours or more is a major consideration for the American aircraft manufacturer's global growth strategy over the next 20 years, a Boeing executive said on Nov. 12.
Globally, if long haul is growing five percent per year, ultra long haul is growing twice that per year,
Darren Hulst, a managing director at Boeing, told Reuters news agency in Sao Paulo during the presentation of his company's market forecast for the next 20 years.
Boeing delayed the flight tests of the aircraft until 2020 due to the glitches on the GE9X engine that will power the 777X. The first deliveries to the customers are now expected in early 2021.
The 787-8, the smaller, longer-range variant of the 777X is under the scope of the Australian flag carrier for "Project Sunrise" flights together with the Airbus' A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range).
"Project Sunrise" is an initiative launched by Qantas to provide non-stop flights between the cities on the east coast of Australia and New York and London.
Today, the Australian operator has completed the second research flight for the project between London Heathrow and Sydney.
The 777-8 offers a better capacity on London and Sydney flights, while the lighter A350 would be more fuel-efficient to destinations such as Hong Kong and Los Angeles, providing greater flexibility, Joyce said.
Growth in the ultra-long-haul market highlights changing habits among passengers, who are willing to travel longer. It is also a tribute to the increasing fuel efficiency of aircraft that allow for such routes to be flown profitably.
Qantas also to make a choice next year between the A320neo and 737 MAX for the renewal of its regional fleet. Qantas CEO said he was confident that Boeing will safely return the grounded aircraft to service.
The airline is planning to order more than 100 aircraft to replace 75 Boeing 737-800s, 20 717s and 17 Fokker 100s in the fleet of its regional subsidiary QantasLink.