Qantas receives its final 787-9 aircraft, wrapping up the delivery of three planes delayed by two years.

CEO Alan Joyce reveals discussions with Air France for a direct route from Perth to France.

Amidst a major fleet renewal program, Qantas may acquire or secure rights for up to 299 narrow-body and 12 wide-body aircraft in the coming decade.

SYDNEY — Qantas's Final Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet, named 'Snowy River', arrived in Melbourne yesterday, The Australian Aviation reports. This acquisition brings the airline's 787-9 tally to 14, including recent inductees VH-ZNM, or ‘Mateship’, and VH-ZNL, referred to as ‘Billabong’. Notably, all these planes offer 42 business class lie-flat bed seats, 166 economy seats, and 28 premium economy spaces.
The acquisition of these aircraft is part of a broader initiative by Qantas. The airline is presently navigating a vast fleet renovation termed Project Winton. Over the next ten years, this program could result in the airline securing almost 299 narrow-body and 12 wide-body aircraft. This strategy encompasses the integration of nine A321s for freight purposes, 29 A220-300s, 20 Airbus A321XLRs for domestic travel, and 12 Airbus A350-1000s reserved for Project Sunrise. There's also potential for 85 more Airbus units to join Qantas by 2034.

With this overhaul, Qantas aims to solidify its presence in the aviation sector. Alan Joyce, the airline's CEO, envisions the A220 and A320 models as the linchpin of Qantas's domestic operations in the forthcoming decades. These additions, he believes, will open up new direct routes and foster better connections, especially for regional locales.

Despite Qantas's assertive steps towards expanding its fleet, the speed of these additions remains a point of concern for some. Captain Tony Lucas of AIPA pointed out earlier this year that even if Qantas placed an order now, the airline might wait over three years for a new aircraft. This potential delay underscores the urgency to expedite the fleet expansion.

Furthermore, on the international expansion front, Qantas has set its sights on Europe. The airline is in active conversations with Air France to introduce a direct connection between Perth and France, with other European cities also in the discussion phase. The news comes amid broader strategic shifts within the company, aimed at increasing its reach and serving a wider passenger base.