Qantas shrinks Dreamliner order

Qantas shrinks Dreamliner order
By admin

Caution over the growth prospects of Jetstar's international operations has prompted Qantas to ditch one firm order for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with domestic fleet expansion instead on the agenda.

The cancellation coincides with Qantas' announcement it will lease an additional five Boeing 717 aircraft and purchase three Bombardier Q400s for use on domestic routes, with delivery expected from the second half of 2013.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said the boost to the domestic fleet would give the airline "flexibility to pursue growth options in a range of short-haul markets."

"It is a sensible investment in a part of the Qantas Group that is delivering strong returns," he said.

However, he admitted the international outlook was cloudier, prompting the scaling down of its B787-8 order.

"While the plan is for Jetstar's long haul network to keep expanding, we are using the flexibility in our agreement with Boeing to cancel a firm order knowing that we can replace it with one of our 50 options for this aircraft down the track, and with a full view of what market conditions are like at the time," he said.

Joyce stressed that the remaining 14 B787-8s will be delivered to Jetstar as planned, with the first aircraft to arrive in mid-2013. The arrival of the Dreamliners will enable the gradual transfer of Airbus A330 aircraft from Jetstar to Qantas Domestic, and the retirement of Qantas' Boeing 767 fleet.

Meanwhile, despite the cancellation, chief executive Alan Joyce insisted the group remains "firmly committed" to the introduction of Dreamliners for both Qantas International and Jetstar, amid ongoing turmoil over the safety of the 787 aircraft.



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