• Airbus A350-1000ULR for Qantas delayed (ULR = Ultra Long Range)

    From Aviation HQ@2:292/854 to All on Thu Feb 22 23:13:57 2024
    Qantas will have to wait at least six months longer for the A350-1000ULR, which is intended for direct flights from Sydney to London and New York. The CEO of Airbus said this on Thursday. The reason is that regulators are demanding a new design of fuel tanks for ultra-long flights.

    Qantas launched Project Sunrise in 2017: nonstop flights from the Australian east coast to Europe and eastern North America. The carrier asked both Boeing and Airbus about the design of a modified aircraft that could handle these distances.

    The choice was between the Boeing 787-10 and the Airbus A350-1000. The pandemic delayed the procedure, but in 2022 Qantas finally announced its choice for Airbus.

    The European manufacturer has since been working on adapting the A350-1000 into an ultra-long-range version. Technically, this mainly concerns the fuel tanks. With the smaller Airbus A350-900ULR, which is already in use with Singapore Airlines, Airbus has managed to increase the fuel capacity in the wings, so that an additional tank was not required.

    The plan was to also do this with the larger A350-1000ULR, but the chosen solution is not to the satisfaction of the aviation authorities in Europe. "Regulators have asked us to redesign the center tank for the ultra-long version of the A350 intended for Project Sunrise," Airbus CEO Christian Scherer told Reuters at the Singapore Airshow on Thursday.

    Qantas was expected to take delivery of the first A350-1000ULR at the end of next year, but this has now been pushed back at least six months to early 2026. The Australian carrier has an outstanding order for twelve aircraft of this type.

    As it stands now, the first direct flights will be from Sydney to London and from Sydney to New York in the second half of 2026. Later, other destinations in Europe and North America may also be served from airports on the Australian east coast. are flown with the A350-1000ULR.

    --- DB4 - 20230201
    * Origin: AVIATION ECHO HQ (2:292/854)