Qantas’s evaluation of ultra-long-range aircraft from Boeing and Airbus will come down to which jet will allow it to operate with a full load nonstop from Australia's east coast to Europe and the east coast of the United States.
“We’re trying to work on how we get the aircraft capable of being able to make the distance, but the important thing is not only to make the distance, but to make it with a full passenger load,” he says.
“We want both manufacturers to have an aircraft that is capable of doing it. If that’s the case we’ll do an RFP next year.”
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... lr-445523/
Interestingly, the carrier does not specify the 300-seat requirement anymore, suggesting any aircraft that can perform the mission at full nominal load will be good enough. Another observation is the focus on east coast direction, clearly the planes won't be able to fly the westbound sector at full load as it adds about 1 hour flight time.
Both A350-900ULR and 777-8 need a few_tweaks in order to fly the 20-hour missions Qantas has in mind.
An order is not expected until next year.