(Bloomberg) -- Qantas Airways Ltd. will receive its first Airbus SE A321XLR long-range single-aisle jet six months later than originally planned, a timeframe that’s better than the industry average, the carrier’s CEO-designate said in Istanbul on Monday.
Vanessa Hudson, who will succeed Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce in November, said the Australian airline group’s low-cost subsidiary Jetstar will receive the first of 20 A321XLRs by the end of 2024.
“It has been delayed,” Hudson, who’s currently Qantas’s chief financial officer, said at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association. While Qantas had a six-month delay “the rest of the market has on average 12 months,” she said.
Entry into service of the A321XLR is still slated for the second quarter of 2024, an Airbus spokesman said in an email.
Bloomberg News reported in March that Airbus was advising customers they’ll face a longer wait for its newest jetliner.
The European planemaker and its US rival Boeing Co. are contending with supply chain and production headaches that have knocked the build of new planes off schedule by months.
Qantas plans to deploy the A321XLR across its Asia network, including at its low-cost unit. The extended range makes it possible to reach destinations such as Hong Kong, Phuket or Manila from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, without having to fill a larger aircraft.
--With assistance from Siddharth Philip.
(Updates with Airbus response in fourth paragraph)
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