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Qantas: Airbus A350 extra fuel tank certified, Project Sunrise back on track

After a delay announced earlier this year, Qantas has confirmed that Project Sunrise is now back on track, with the third fuel tank for its fleet of ultra-long-range Airbus A350-1000s having been certified.  

On February 22, 2024, Qantas explained that delivery of its fleet of new Airbus A350-1000s would be delayed by six months because the regulator had requested that the aircraft’s center tank be redesigned.  

At the time, Christian Scherer, the CEO of Airbus’ commercial aircraft business, said: “We have to redesign the center tank, the extra fuel tank, that will allow the Sunrise mission, and that’s what explains the shift.”   

On June 4, 2024, at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual general meeting in Dubai, Qantas head Vanessa Hudson announced that the extra fuel tank, which will enable 22-hour flights from Australia, had received approval from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Hudson said: “We’re working very closely with Airbus, and the first aircraft is due to arrive from mid-2026. It’s passed all the certifications now, so we’re feeling very optimistic about the delivery timetable.”  

Until the delay was announced earlier this year, Qantas was expecting the first of 24 A350-1000s to start arriving in 2025. 

Qantas initially ordered 12 A350s in 2022 and then a further 12 in 2023 for Project Sunrise, with the aim of providing nonstop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London.   

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian flag carrier was forced to shelve Project Sunrise. As such, executives are likely to be thrilled that nothing now appears to stand in the way of the flights commencing next year.  

The post Qantas: Airbus A350 extra fuel tank certified, Project Sunrise back on track appeared first on AeroTime.

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