Qantas Group ordered ten incremental A321-200neo(XLR)s and converted existing orders for twenty-six A321neo to the (XLR) version.

Announced during the 2019 Paris Air Show at Paris Le Bourget, the contract foresees the start of deliveries from the 2024 financial year (i.e. July 1, 2023, through to June 30, 2024) onwards and includes significant flexibility for the Australian holding to adjust delivery schedules depending on market conditions.

"We already know the A320 is a great aircraft and this new variant can fly further and more efficiently than any other single-aisle jet on the market. It can fly routes like Cairns-Tokyo Narita or Melbourne Tullamarine-Singapore Changi, which existing narrow-bodies can't, and that changes the economics of lots of potential routes into Asia to make them not just physically possible but financially attractive," Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce said.

"We'll take a decision closer to the time about which parts of the Group will use these aircraft, but there is plenty of potential across Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) and Jetstar. We'll also take a view on whether they are used to replace older aircraft or whether they are used for growth, which will depend on what's happening in the market."

Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine) currently operates fifty-two A320s and eight A321-200s but will start adding the first of eighteen A321neo(LR)s in mid-2020. The larger narrowbodies are also due to be deployed to Jetstar Japan (GK, Tokyo Narita). So far, the Qantas Group said that all of the already ordered A320neo aircraft will go to Jetstar Airways and its subsidiaries. Qantas itself currently operates an all-Boeing narrowbody fleet consisting of seventy-five B737-800s. CEO Alan Joyce said recently that Qantas will determine the future replacement of its narrowbodies only once it has ended deliberations on its Project Sunrise, or direct flights to Europe from Sydney Kingsford Smith and Melbourne Tullamarine.

Including the new order, the Qantas Group's Airbus backlog now entails 109 narrowbody aircraft, including forty-five A320-200neo, ten A321neo, eighteen A321neo(LR)s, and thirty-six (XLR)s.