Australian-based Qantas has asked Boeing and Airbus to review their proposals for its Project Sunrise Initiative.
The initiative - which would open up new long-haul flights around 20 hours from Australia to cities such as London and New York - had attracted both Boeing and Airbus which made their proposals in August. According to a report from the Sydney Morning Herald, Qantas is now asking both aircraft manufacturers to revise their proposals which includes a request for a lower price.
“We’ve asked them to go back and re-look at that, to sharpen their pencils, because there still was a gap there," Qantas International chief executive Tino La Spina told an investor briefing in Sydney on Tuesday.
European-based aircraft manufacturer, Airbus pitched an ultra-long-range version of its Airbus A350-1000 derived from what the company has already delivered to airlines. Boeing has offered the Boeing 777x, the latest version of the 777 aircraft family that is currently in development. While La Spina stated that both aircraft could accomplish the task, Qantas is looking beyond the aircraft performance at a good price.
“That is just not around price. That covers things like guarantees, the what ifs, because this aircraft is going to be in the fleet for the next 20 years and we want to cover off eventualities,” La Spina said.
The decision to reject the initial offers comes after two high profile test flights from both New York and London Qantas has mounted to assess how ultra-long haul flights could affect travelers.