Qantas has pushed back the first five options of its 50-strong Boeing 787-9 order from 2016 to 2017 as part of an accelerated 'Qantas Transformation' plan to speed its exit from a record $2.83 billion loss.
Should Qantas' international arm return back in profit, the airline will now look to its first Dreamliner arriving sometime in 2017 – one year later than originally planned.
Today's decision follows an earlier cancellation in 2012 of 35 firm Boeing 787-9 commitments as the airline restructures its fleet in a plan to rein in costs.
The options previously stood at five for the Boeing 787-9s in the 2016-2017 financial year, with six to follow in FY18, seven in FY19 and two in FY20, while 30 additional purchase rights streamed through to 2025.
Qantas previously advised that "the restructure means a two-year delay in the Group’s first B787-9 delivery," which now becomes three years.
Jetstar's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner order will continue as planned, with the changes only impacting its larger Boeing 787-9 counterpart.
The low-cost carrier's Boeing 787s enable the continuing transfer of Airbus A330 aircraft from Jetstar to Qantas Domestic, which paves the way for 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.
Gareth Evans, Qantas' CFO affirmed that the group's order of 50 Boeing 787-9s still exists – including both options and purchase rights – and that it was "looking forward to exercising those purchase rights and bringing those aircraft into the Qantas fleet."
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