Qantas cancels order for 35 B787-9s

23 Aug 2012

Qantas announced on August 23 that it was cancelling its order for 35 B787-9 aircraft from Boeing in order to reduce its spending.

The airline also reported it had made a loss for the first time in 17 years this past financial year, citing high fuel prices and the industrial action in October (see story here) as reasons. Transformation cost to “address our legacy cost base and turn around our Qantas International business” was also cited as a factor by chief executive Alan Joyce. 

He also said cancelling the aircraft order would reduce capital expenditure commitments which would equal US$8.5 billion at list prices. “In the context of returning Qantas International to profit, this is a prudent decision. The B787 is an excellent aircraft and remains an important part of our future. However, circumstances have changed significantly since our order several years ago.” 

A spokesperson for the airline told Business Traveller that the cancelled order would not result in changes to current plans to introduce new flights or lead to reduced frequencies on existing routes. 

“The aircraft were intended to support growth and fleet renewal for both Qantas and Jetstar. However, we had made no firm commitments on the allocation of aircraft or on potential new routes,” he said.  

He added that Qantas still had 50 B787-9 aircraft available to it from 2016 and that this would give the carrier “considerable flexibility” in its fleet planning.

Qantas will also take delivery of 15 B787-8s to for its Jetstar operations as planned, with the first aircraft scheduled to arrive in the second half of 2013. The plan is to move the A330s from Jetstar to its domestic routes and proceed with retiring the 767 fleet.

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Nicholas Olczak 

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