Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) does not expect to launch its ultra-long-haul Project Sunrise flights until mid-2026, a delay of approximately six months. The stated reason is A350-1000 manufacturing holdups at Airbus base Toulouse Blagnac. There are also delays to the start of A321neo flights for the same reason.

Qantas has ordered twenty-four slightly modified A350-1000s to facilitate nonstop flights between Sydney and airports like London Heathrow and New York JFK. However, as far back as mid-2023, ch-aviation became aware that issues with the required fuel tank modifications were likely to cause manufacturing delays. While not explicitly saying this is the reason for the six-month deferral, ch-aviation understands that the fuel tank modifications remain a key contributory reason for the A350 delay.

"We don't want to see delays in aircraft [deliveries]," said Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson in Sydney last week. "We know our aircraft manufacturers are still having supply chain issues. However, I can say, working with Airbus, that we have received the minimum level of delays."

Hudson also said the delivery of the first A321-200NY(XLR)s to Qantas Domestic would be delayed by three months until early 2025. She also said Qantas would take eight additional XLRs from the group's existing order. Qantas Group has a substantial narrowbody order with Airbus, with aircraft going to both the flag carrier and Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine). It continues calibrating which aircraft will go where depending on market requirements.

Separately, Qantas will debut scheduled A220-300 flights on the Melbourne Tullamarine-Canberra and Melbourne-Brisbane International routes. The airline ordered 29 of the type, with two already in Australia: VH-X4A (msn 55253) and VH-4XB (msn 55269). Later in the year, as more A220s arrive, Qantas will begin to use them on routes between Melbourne Tullamarine and Hobart International, Coffs Harbour, and Launceston. The A220s will eventually replace the aging B717-200 fleet. Qantas subsidiary National Jet Systems (Adelaide International) will operate them for the QantasLink brand.