I was thinking about the QF order for the A321 and the A223.
The A321, in its various iterations, seems like a practicable fit for several routes. I would surmise that it could perform well within the BNE-SYD-MEL triangle, as well as on longer and thin international routes.
But the A223 seems like quite a capacity upgrade in terms of being a 717 replacement. The current 717 fleet operate in two configs that I am aware: (1) 12J+98Y , (2) 125Y . According to Wikipedia (Yes I know, not the most reliable, but I think it's a fair reference), the A223 will seat 120-150pax.
I've been talking to my only avgeek friend about this: it seems that, although not a perfect fit, the A223 will replace not just the 717, but also the 738's lower demand routes to a certain extent - the A321 is not just replacing the 738's higher demand routes, but creating an entirely different category for itself in the QF fleet (the lower end of the middle of the market).
Qantas has never had 757s, and I don't know why. I think they'd be perfect
for QF's fleet, especially back in the 80s when QF could only go int'l. It would have perfectly served low-demand routes. Routes like KUL, routes like BKK, which have a decent, albeit relatively small, demand. I see the XLRs being used for this purpose.
I think that short, thin routes like PER-ADL, ADL-HBA, AKL-HBA, would be great for the A223, and it could even open up int'l routes
from ADL/PER when the border reopens, because QF, even pre-COVID, didn't realise that these cities had airports that were capable of international flights.
Will A223 services be operated as QF, and not QFLink?
In the promotional materials, the A223s were in Qantas colours, not QantasLink. Now, that may not be the most accurate judgement, because that can change, but that's what I can find right now.
C) What is the chance of QF ordering the A221? Personally, I could see this happening.
I can too. I think they'll be QantasLink aircraft, though.