Qantas has ordered eight B787-9s to replace five of its ageing B747s on international routes, the airline announced today.
Four of the Dreamliners will arrive in 2018 and the other four in 2019, with the airline retaining its six youngest reconfigured B747s.
The purchases will open up a “range of potential new city pairs”, Qantas said.
A statement added: “Qantas will retain 15 further options and 30 purchase rights for additional B787s, with significant flexibility over the timing of delivery should they be exercised.”
The carrier revealed its fleet plans alongside its financial results, reporting an underlying pre-tax profit of AUS$975 million compared with a loss of AUS$646 million last year.
CEO Alan Joyce said: “This milestone acquisition marks the scale of our turnaround and looks ahead to a new era for our iconic international airline… We have looked closely at every aspect of the Dreamliner and it’s the right aircraft for Qantas’ future.
“The key reason we chose this particular aircraft is its incredible efficiency. Its new technology will reduce fuel burn, cut heavy maintenance requirements and open up new destinations around the globe.
“Because the 787 is smaller than the jumbos it will gradually replace, it gives us the flexibility of having more aircraft without significantly changing our overall capacity.”
Last month, it emerged that Qantas is reducing its services to Los Angeles from both Sydney and Melbourne (see news, July 21).