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Qantas shuns extra A380 planes

AAP logoAAP 5/08/2016 Lilly Vitorovich

Qantas is holding off taking delivery of eight A380 superjumbos ordered more than a decade ago because they don't fit with its current plans for growth in Asia.

Australia's biggest airline has 12 superjumbos in operation, which fly to London, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Since the order of eight extra A380s was confirmed under previous boss Geoff Dixon, Qantas has changed significantly, in terms of its strategy and financial position.

"We will keep pushing them out," Mr Joyce said of the extra A380s on Friday, at a summit hosted by CAPA Centre for Aviation.

He was non-committal on whether the purchase would go ahead.

While North America remains Qantas' biggest market, Mr Joyce and his team are looking to Asia, particularly China, for profit growth.

Given Australia's close proximity to the region, Qantas doesn't need as many A380s for those routes.

Qantas currently flies smaller planes, including A330s and Boeing 747s to Asia, and will also begin using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in 2018.

"It's all about the `right aircraft, right route'," a Qantas spokesman said.

Not all airports can accommodate A380s, also making the smaller and more fuel efficient Boeing 787 attractive.

Qantas - which has slashed staff numbers and costs in recent years - is also saving millions of dollars by not taking delivery of the eight A380s.

The financial details of its orders with Airbus remain confidential, but an A380-800 has a list price of $US433 million, though discounts are typically given to airlines at the time of a large order.

Qantas is planning to announce its first route using a 787-9 Dreamliner at the end of the year, and is considering a direct Perth to London link, Mr Joyce said.

It is also considering the introduction of new routes including Brisbane to the US, Melbourne to Dallas and Sydney to Chicago, he said.

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