Qantas delays delivery of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

Qantas delays delivery of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

Read: Qantas to buy Boeing 787, first flights from 2017

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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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • smit0847


    28 Aug, 2014 09:27 am

    I don't ever expect to see a Dreamliner in QF colours.

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  • RK

    Ryan K

    28 Aug, 2014 09:44 am

    Sadly, I think you're right. And even it they are in QF colours, they'll be operated by a subsidiary with a lower cost base.

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  • SeatNextToYours


    28 Aug, 2014 01:27 pm

    So you're not satisfied by the one at the top of this article..?

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  • RK

    Ryan K

    28 Aug, 2014 04:40 pm

    Definitely not. For a start it's in old livery which changed years ago. A lot has changed at Qantas since then.

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  • flyingisthebest


    28 Aug, 2014 09:33 pm

    At the current rate, I think we will be seeing Pigs fly before Qantas (Not Jetstar) take 787s'

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  • moa999


    28 Aug, 2014 09:42 am


    I still expect to see one. Just will be waiting a while longer.

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  • P.B.


    28 Aug, 2014 10:07 am

    Bad A/C type choices contributed to the predicament QF is in, and all they're doing in delaying the order is fuelling the flames. Yes, new orders are expensive but with such an aging fleet, even a delay of a year may be a death sentence.

    Seriously, if your own customers understand the problems better than C-level management...

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  • sn001


    28 Aug, 2014 10:57 am

    I think QF is just becoming a domestic player, aliance with EK is a mistake they need to learn from Air NZ who went after a niche and have done such a brilliant job.

    Ageing fleet is bleeding money and also maintaing 2 sets of planes is a mistake. When you Jetstar going all airbus why persisit with boeing? Now that you are delaying orders by an year a350 makes much more sensible choice.

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  • TheRealBabushka


    28 Aug, 2014 01:15 pm

    Has the question been asked of Qantas management why Qantas needs to fly to international destinations? I'm just curious.

    Are they compelled to do so by the government? Or is it a pride/saving-face thing?

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  • Fonga


    28 Aug, 2014 06:14 pm

    Average age of Qantas fleet is 7 years, about two years younger than Air NZ and slightly younger than Singapore. The A330s average 6.5 years and they will  be refurbished over the next few years. The delivery of 787-9s has been pushed out to 2017 when these aircraft will be reaching 10 years of service. You would think that they and the A380s will be the backbone of the international fleet in 5 years time. The 747s and 767s will be long gone. In the meantime QF will make the most of assets that aren't really that ol and phase out those that are. Hopefully a return to profitability will see orders brought forward and new routes added thanks to the better economies and attractiveness of the dreamliner.

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  • maabbot


    28 Aug, 2014 11:24 am

    This is Qantas' problem...the 787-9 will be a game changer from a cost perspective and also from a customer experience.  Qantas delaying  787 CAPEX might give a nice sugar high right now, but it means they continue with an inferior product (from and OPEX and custmer experience perspectice) be it old A330s or 767 for longer.  In turn it means they perpetutate their situation when all their competitors start offering A350s and 787s and their problem ultimately get worse. With that said I live in Perth, so frankly don't care if Qantas international goes belly up...

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  • Nick Sydney 2


    28 Aug, 2014 11:45 am

    Over QF. Have been a loyal FF. Mainline to London and LA on QF metal when there were cheaper alternatives. But aside of this the fleet is aging. Why fly QF81 to SIN on what is a tatty A330 when there are cheaper and newer alternatives. Even Air Asia to KL and a short hop down. Dreamliner in QF? Cannot see it to be honest

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  • Shang YEH


    28 Aug, 2014 02:15 pm

    AJ and QF hasn't got an idea what's real probelm for Qantas. 

    QF desperately needs new fleets in order to replace aged, uneconomic fleets like 747, which is totally inappropriate size fleet for QF. 

    They need to take game changer metals like 787 and deploy them into Asia for better fuel consumption and customer experience. Deploying 747 into Narita and Hong Kong is no doubt a lossing situation for QF, they'll never make money from this.

    Ironically JQ gets to have whole bunch shiny brand new 787 and yet they couldn't make the best use of them. Entire direction of QF is completely off the track, they need to see what JL has done when they went bankrupt few years ago.

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  • Himeno


    28 Aug, 2014 06:57 pm

    Why do you think QF is losing money from using a 747 on QF21/22? Almost every time I've been on that flight, it's been full, even oversold with lots of op ups at times.

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  • Rufus1


    28 Aug, 2014 07:52 pm

    Apparenlty filling a flight isn't enough.  The Frankfurt flight always used to be rammed (sometimes when I needed it a short notice, there was not a seat in any class available for love nor money) but that didn't save it.

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  • watson374


    29 Aug, 2014 12:02 am

    I think the problem with QF5/6 to FRA was that it sat all day at FRA (something like 18 hours) racking up parking fees that swallowed the profit whole. QF21/22 does the same thing.

    This was why flights like QF31/32 were designed to have shorter turnarounds in the first place.

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  • Shang YEH


    29 Aug, 2014 12:46 am

    Double daily to Narita should be best solutions but firstly they need 787 to do so. 

    Same situation for Hong Kong as well, single daily with inferior hardware just can't compete with CX.  Double daily 787 to HKG with new generation business would turn everything around. I bet Qantas will snatch large portion of passengers from CX.

    787 is also perfect fleet to deploy on BNE-LAX, BNE-DXB and so on.  


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  • Himeno


    29 Aug, 2014 06:32 pm

    They can get "double daily" to NRT fairly easily.

    Retime QF22 for a day flight south. Depart NRT ~830, arrive ~630pm, still enough time to connect to the last flight of the day to a number of other cities.

    Codeshare on JL771/772.

    Gives a morning and evening departure in each direction. Uses 1 less aircraft.

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  • Glen McDonald


    28 Aug, 2014 08:06 pm

    Could someone pleaase explain to me how pushing "... back the first five options of its 50-strong Boeing 787-9 order from ?2016 to 2017" could poissiby constitute part of an "accelerated 'Qantas Transformation' plan."

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  • flyingisthebest


    28 Aug, 2014 09:41 pm

    Can't Qantas take at least 5 of them? I am sure the group has sufficent Economies of scale (Maintenence wise), given 14 (or what ever are with Jetstar).

    Brisbane needs them badly!!!!!

    BNE-LAX needs to be operated by a 787 not a 747; given the upcoming bloodbath!

    BNE-LAX  would take 2 frames 

    SIN-BNE 1 Frame

    HKG-BNE 1 frame

    Extra frame could be used to add more frequencies to counter VA or be used as a spare.

    By making QF international flying  from BNE (4+ HOURS) 787 any issues could be fixed with a substitute of an A330 (Bar LAX) and Qantas will have sufficent EOS to at least operate the 787 till they get more.

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  • Tezza


    28 Aug, 2014 11:12 pm

    Loyal QF fan since 1996..... I don't understand why JQ is operating the 787?  Give then A330s or the 767s or 737-400 ........ just venting my spleen. 

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23 Jul, 2019 09:03 am


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