Qantas asks Airbus for extension to A350-1000 order deadline due to virus

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Qantas Airways Ltd QAN.AX has asked Airbus SE AIR.PA for an extension to a March-end deadline to order up to 12 A350-1000 planes capable of the world's longest commercial flights from Sydney to London, the airline's CEO said on Tuesday.

“We haven’t heard back from Airbus yet,” Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce told reporters after announcing the airline would cut nearly 25% of its international capacity due to a fall in demand associated with the coronavirus.

“We would rather wait for the coronavirus issue to be out of the way before we put a firm aircraft order in for the A350,” he said.

Airbus had been holding delivery slots for Qantas in expectation of an order.

Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Sandra Maler