Qantas chooses Airbus A350-1000 as preferred aircraft for non-stop flights to London and New York from Sydney

There's been fierce competition between Boeing and Airbus for the contract.
There's been fierce competition between Boeing and Airbus for the contract. Photo credit: Getty Images/Qantas

Qantas has announced its preferred aircraft option to fly non-stop flights to London and New York from Sydney, picking Airbus over Boeing.

After a battle between the two manufacturers that's lasted months, the Australian airline confirmed the Airbus A350-1000 is the aircraft it wants to use on the planned 20-hour non-stop services.

Airbus will add an additional fuel tank and increase the aircraft's maximum take-off weight to deliver the performance necessary.

Boeing had put forward its new 777X aircraft, known for its folding wings.

However, despite this announcement, Qantas is yet to officially place an order for the A350s, as its decision as to whether the new non-stop services will even get off the ground won't be made until March.

So far, Qantas has performed trial flights to Sydney from London and New York, and will conduct one more early next week.

The research flights gather information about how the ultra long-haul flights affect the human body.

"Between the research flights and what we've learned from two years of flying Perth to London, we have a lot of confidence in the market for direct services like New York and London to the east coast of Australia," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

"The A350 is a fantastic aircraft and the deal on the table with Airbus gives us the best possible combination of commercial terms, fuel efficiency, operating cost and customer experience."

Joyce said the company will only commit to the new routes once it's 100 percent confident the services are commercially viable.

Earlier this year, Air New Zealand decided on using Boeing 787-10 aircraft for its upcoming Auckland to New York services. The Airbus A350 is currently used by Singapore Airlines on its non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles.