Qantas cancels Dreamliner order: Bad timing for Boeing

Courtesy Boeing

Courtesy Boeing

AUSTRALIAN flag carrier Qantas has cancelled a single order of Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for budget subsidiary Jetstar. However it is retaining the order for 14 aircraft to be delivered as planned, with the first Dreamliner to be delivered in mid-2013.

In a statement issued by the airline, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said: “The original 787 order for Jetstar was designed to replace all 11 of its existing A330s that are used for long haul services plus provide another four lines of flying for future growth. 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.”

It is no big deal, just another one of those commercial decisions in the normal course of adjusting to market conditions. Albeit only one aircraft when the airline still retains its order of 14 others, it nonetheless is bad timing for Boeing on the heel of the grounding all B787 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the US and other airport agencies around the world, following safety concerns over batteries. (See Dreamliner: Not quite a dream start, Jan 17).

Meantime, Boeing has halted aircraft deliveries pending investigations of the incidents that led to the aircraft grounding. Questions are also being raised as to whether FAA has been adequately thorough in its study of the Dreamliner before stamping its approval for operations.

Part of Qantas’ B787-8 plans is to enable the transfer of Airbus A330 aircraft from Jetstar to Qantas Domestic.

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About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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