Qantas has cancelled its order for 35 Boeing 787 Dreamliners as the airline restructures its fleet plan to rein in costs.
"Fifty B787-9 options and purchase rights will be retained and brought forward by almost two years, available for delivery from 2016" the airline said in a statement.
"However, firm commitments for 35 B787-9s will be cancelled. The restructure means a two-year delay in the Group’s first B787-9 delivery."
Deliveries of the first 15 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners for Jetstar will continue on schedule, with the first of the next-gen jets due to arrive in the second half of 2013.
This will enable the transfer of Airbus A330 aircraft from Jetstar to Qantas Domestic, and the eventual retirement of Qantas’ Boeing 767 fleet.
"The Boeing 787 is an excellent aircraft and remains an important part of our future" said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
"However, circumstances have changed significantly since our order several years ago. In 2004, when these aircraft were ordered, nobody saw the global financial crisis arriving" Joyce told a Sydney media conference.
"Our Boeing 787 option aircraft have firm delivery dates and we have to action them at a certain amount of time before that date, so you're guaranteed a particular delivery slot at a particular delivery price" Joyce said.
"Part of this deal is to bring them forward to 2016, so they are guaranteed for us if we want them for 2016."
Elaborating on the move, Qantas CFO Gareth Evans explained that the new date "aligns to the turnaround plan we have for the Qantas International business, so when we hit that milestone we will have a stream of 787s."
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.